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Entries in Madonna (3)

Thursday
Aug092012

Madonna Angers Russian Deputy Prime Minister

Ragnar Singsaas/WireImage(MOSCOW) -- A top Russian official angrily called Madonna "a former prostitute" Thursday after the pop diva came out in support of a Russian punk rock band in jail for protesting President Putin.

“Every former [expletive] seeks to lecture everyone on morality as she gets older. Especially during tours and gigs abroad,” Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Rogozin wrote on Twitter.

Madonna spoke up for the all female Russian punkers Pussy Riot during a Moscow concert Wednesday. She is playing again Thursday night in St. Petersburg where she has pledged to use the venue to speak out against the city’s harsh new anti-gay laws, which penalize speaking about homosexuality around minors.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow took the unusual step of issuing a warning to American citizens who planned to attend the concerts that they could be the target of unspecified attacks.

The Material Girl took a break from her performance Wednesday to speak out against the detention of three members of the all female Russian punk band that is on trial for an anti-Putin performance.

The group is on trial for their unauthorized “punk prayer” performance on the altar of Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral which called for divine intervention to deliver Russia from Vladimir Putin.

The three women face up to seven years in prison if convicted on charges of “hooliganism” for their performance in the cathedral, which has also drawn criticism from the Russian Orthodox Church.

“I know there are many sides to every story, and I mean no disrespect to the church or the government. But I think that these three girls -- Masha, Katya, Nadya -- I think that they have done something courageous. I think they have paid the price for this act. And I pray for their freedom,” Madonna said, according to the New York Times.

Rogozin had an angry message for Madonna on Twitter Thursday.

“Either take off your cross, or put on your knickers,” he wrote, according to the BBC.

In speaking out against the band’s detention, Madonna joined artists like Sting, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Franz Ferdinand who have all used recent concerts in Russia to call for their release.

Addressing the audience from the stage, Madonna also stressed the value of free speech for artists. She reportedly donned a colored baklava knit cap, Pussy Riot’s signature outfit, and also came out wearing a black bra with the band’s name written on her back.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug072012

US Embassy Warns Against Threats of Violence at Russian Madonna Concert

Dave J Hogan/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- The U.S. Embassy has warned U.S. citizens who plan on attending Madonna's concerts in Russia this week that there have been specific threats of violence that have been made against both "spectators and performers" for at least one of the shows.

According to a note posted on the U.S. Embassy's website, both the U.S. Embassy Moscow and the U.S. Consulate General St. Petersburg have, "received information regarding a threat of physical violence against spectators and performers at the St. Petersburg concert on August 9."  Madonna is also playing Moscow on Tuesday night.

The note says that the information has been shared with Russian law enforcement authorities, who have, "indicated to the Embassy that they are taking appropriate measures in light of this information."  The message warns citizens to, "remain vigilant regarding their personal security, and to be aware of their surroundings at all times, especially in crowded areas."

Madonna's appearance in Russia has been controversial for two reasons. One, she declared her intention to speak out against a local law that bans so-called "homosexual propaganda." Two, she's also spoken out in support of the members of the Russian female punk band Pussy Riot, who've been imprisoned and are being prosecuted for inciting "religious hatred" due to a performance at an empty Moscow church that has been described as "blasphemous."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar232012

Madonna May Be Charged Under St. Petersburg Anti-Gay Law

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Pop singer Madonna has ignited controversy on both sides of a new anti-gay law in St Petersburg, Russia.

The Material Girl said in a Facebook posting this week that she plans to speak out against the law during an Aug. 9 concert in the city.

“I will come to St. Petersburg to speak up for the gay community, to support the gay community and to give strength and inspiration to anyone who is or feels oppressed,” Madonna wrote on Wednesday.

“I don’t run away from adversity. I will speak during my show about this ridiculous atrocity,” she added.

The law, which took effect March 11, in part prohibits “the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors.”

Gay rights activists say it would criminalize even reading, writing or speaking about gay, lesbian, or transgender people. Violations can carry hefty fines, ranging from about $170 for individuals up to $16,700 or organizations and businesses.

The bill’s author, city assemblyman Vitaly Milanov, says he wants Madonna charged under the new law if she speaks out against it during her concert. He said he was willing to attend the show “to control its moral content.”

“I’m ready to personally suffer a couple of hours of her concert,” he told the Russian Interfax news agency.

Madonna spoke out after an op-ed by Masha Gessen, a Moscow-based Russian-American journalist, was published in the New York Times on Monday calling on Madonna to cancel the show and urging tourists and businesses to boycott the city.

For some gay rights advocates her pledge to use the venue to denounce the new law was not enough. A group of Russian gay rights advocates plans to picket the concert, saying Madonna is cashing in on their struggle and urging her to cancel the show.

“The law will stay in force, Madonna will leave and the Russian LGBT-community will be humiliated even more,” Nikolai Aleksev, the head of the LGBT advocacy group Gay Russia, wrote on his blog.

Homosexuality was banned in the Soviet Union and was only decriminalized in 1993, though it was still declared a mental disorder until 1999. It remains highly taboo in Russia. Laws similar to the St Petersburg legislation are now being considered in other regions and the speaker of the Russian Parliament, the Duma, has promised to weigh endorsing it at a national level.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio