Ellie Goulding has said she will refuse to perform for President Putin in protest at Russia’s anti-gay laws.
The chart-topping singer said she would follow the example set by Cher, who rejected an approach to perform at the opening ceremony for the Sochi Winter Olympics next week as a protest against legislation which makes it illegal to teach under-18s about homosexuality.
Goulding, who has sold 5 million albums, told the Hollywood Reporter: “It’s probably a 'no' for Russia.”
The "Burn" singer said she supported Cher, who turned down a request to open the Games saying: “I immediately said no. I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there.”
The Herefordshire singer, 27, previously expressed her support for Pussy Riot, the Russian punk group jailed two years ago on hooliganism charges. Their jail sentence was “insanity”, Ms Goulding tweeted at the time.
The A-list opposing Russia's anti-gay laws
The A-list opposing Russia's anti-gay laws
1/15 When Madonna performed in Russia, she took to the stage with the words "No Fear" scrawled across her back. "Show your love and appreciation to the gay community," she urged her audience.
2/15 "In solidarity. From Russia with love," Tilda Swinton posted alongside this photograph of her holding a rainbow flag in support of the LGBT community outside the Kremlin in Moscow.
3/15 "As a gay man, I can’t leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them," Elton John said ahead of his boycotted string of shows in Russia in 2013. "I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’ve got to go."
4/15 "The Russian government is criminal," Lady Gaga tweeted in August. "Oppression will be met with revolution. Russian LGBTs you are not alone. We will fight for your freedom." She later noted: "Sending bravery to LGBTs in Russia. The rise in government abuse is archaic. Hosing teenagers with pepper spray? Beatings? Mother Russia?"
5/15 "I think we should do more than just send gay Olympians there," the Star Trek actor said in a recent interview. ''What's happening there in terms of gay rights or the lack of it is extraordinary and awful."
6/15 Gay Star Trek actor George Takei that Russia's "cynical and deplorable actions against the LGBT community have given license to hate groups within its borders to act with violence and impunity against a group, based solely on whom they were born to love."
7/15 Prisonbreak star Wentworth Miller publicly came out in an open letter to Russia regarding its anti-gay laws. "I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government," he wrote, turning down an invitation to a Russian film festival. "The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly."
8/15 Jamie Lee Curtis was one of many celebrities who joined the 'Love Conquers Hate' T-shirt initiative, lauched by the Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay rights activist group in the US.
9/15 Kevin Bacon also joined the 'Love Conquers Hate' initiative."We stand with Russia's LGBT community and their allies," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "We are committed to doing as much as we possibly can to support their efforts to repeal this heinous law."
10/15 “I'd boycott Russian goods if I could think of a single thing they made besides the rest of the world depressed," Hugh Laurie posted on Twitter in January 2014.
11/15 "I can’t name names but my friend called who is a big oligarch over there, and asked me if I’d like to be an ambassador for the Olympics and open the show," Cher told Maclean's writer Elio Iannacci. "I immediately said no. I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there."
12/15 Putin "is making scapegoats of gay people, just as Hitler did Jews," Stephen Fry warned in his appeal to the IOC.
13/15 "For real: Tell Russia & the @Olympics that #LoveConquersHate. Join @HRC and share your pic. #Sochi14," actress Kristen Bell tweeted, promoting her gay rights advocacy T-shirt scheme.
14/15 "Help us show Russia & the world that #LoveConquersHate," Wolf of Wall Street star Jonah Hill tweeted as part of the same campaign alongside a picture of himself wearing the T-shirt.
15/15 Grammy-winning singer Melissa Etheridge released a song, “Uprising of Love”, in support of the Russian LGBT community, and partnered with Bruce Cohen to launch a coalition of celebrities and influential public figures, too.
Artists are divided over whether to support a full boycott of Russia. Sir Elton John defied calls to cancel his Moscow concert but used the visit to speak out against the laws, which he said legitimised homophobia and provided legal cover to extremists.
The International Olympics Committee has been urging Russian president Vladimir Putin to ensure there is no discrimination against homosexual people during the Winter Games.
Anatoly Pakhomov, a Kremlin loyalist and member of ruling party United Russia, told the BBC that gay visitors to Sochi, where the Olympics open on Feb 7, were welcome as long as they did not “impose their habits on others.”
Sir Elton, described by Vladimir Putin last weekend as an “extraordinary person . . . regardless of his orientation”, rejected the President’s attempted olive branch.
The singer wrote on his website that during his visit to Moscow he had met gay and lesbian people who had received vicious threats from vigilante groups.
Stephen Fry called for a boycott of the Winter Games, held at the Black Sea resort, which he called the modern equivalent of taking part in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
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