Ellie Goulding ‘won’t play in Russia’ over gay propaganda law

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UK pop singer Ellie Goulding has said she won’t perform in Russia any time soon, due to the country’s poor gay rights record and homophobic legislation.

When asked by the Hollywood Reporter whether she would perform in the country, she said: “It’s probably a ‘no’ for Russia.”

She had previously spoken out against the imprisonment of pro-gay Russian band Pussy Riot, who were initially jailed in 2012 after an anti-Putin protest, tweeting that their sentence was “insanity”.

She is due to start a European tour this month, but despite dates across the continent, including Poland, Norway and Austria, she will snub the Russian capital.

Ellie is following in the footsteps of fellow singer Cher, who last September revealed that she “immediately said no” when asked to perform at the Winter Olympics next month.

Cher said: “I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there. He said the Russian people don’t feel the way the government does.”

Last week Sir Elton John offered to introduce Vladimir Putin to gay Russians, after the Russian president said the anti-gay law “doesn’t harm anybody”.