Sir Elton John Sent Donna Summer Album, Kiss to Vladimir Putin

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday November 4, 2020

Sir Elton John
Sir Elton John  (Source:Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Sir Elton John attempted to send a very pro-gay message to anti-LGBTQ Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, by way of BBC political journalist Andrew Marr, Metro reports.

The message?

A Donna Summer album and a kiss.

Prior to interviewing Putin at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Marr recently told BBC's Sunday Brunch that he had run into Sir Elton and "he said, 'I'm not going to tell you what to say or do, I just want you to give him a Donna Summer album,' he handed it over, 'and a kiss from me.'

"I thought, I just can't go up to the president of Russia and kiss him and give him a Donna Summer album."

And on Russia's notoriously bad anti-LGBTQ social and political stances, Marr said "I did ask [Putin] about it all, he said he's got many, many gay friends.... I didn't quite believe him."

In recent years, Sir Elton and Putin have both said publicly that they'd be interested in meeting to discuss — primarily on John's end — Russia's anti-LGBTQ laws. Last year, when Putin acknowledged condemnation of Russia for its homophobia, brazenly stating "we have no problems with LGBT persons," Sir Elton offered a sharp response, which read in part:

"I find duplicity in your comment that you want LGBT people to 'be happy' and that 'we have no problem in that.' Yet Russian distributors chose to heavily censor my film 'Rocketman' by removing all references to my finding true happiness through my 25 year relationship with David and the raising of my two beautiful sons. This feels like hypocrisy to me."

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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