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Indie Singer Grimes Defends Performing in Russia

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday Oct 30, 2013

Claire Boucher, who performs under the moniker Grimes, broke out in 2012 with her critically acclaimed album "Visions." Since then, she's become the "it" girl in electro and indie music scenes, earning a number of fans, gracing several (high fashion) magazine covers and gaining crossover success.

The Canadian artist is making headlines this week, however, after taking to Tumblr to defend her decision to perform in Russia later this week, despite the country's anti-gay laws.

"Yes, I am playing in Moscow in 2 days and no, i do not feel bad about it," she wrote. "I don't think that denying and ignoring the gay community in russia is cool. I have gay friends in russia and the only strait [sic] person on the Grimes team is james as far as i know lol.

"We are entering safely and it means the world to me to be returning 2 russia," she went on to say. "It doesn't hurt the government if I refuse to tour there. Just regular people. So i don't think it's wrong to be doing this. Refusing to go to russia would only hurt fans.

"also -- this is a private event," she added. "fans should know that ill be back for a bigger show when i finish the record that will be open to the public."

Both Lady Gaga and Madonna performed in St. Petersburg last year, before the anti-gay laws impacted all of Russia. In August Russian officials said they plan to investigate whether Gaga violated the measure. Russian activists have sued Madonna days after her show, saying they were offended by her gay rights support.

Elton John made waves when he announced that he would also hold a concert in Moscow in December, just months before the Winter Olympics, which will be held in Sochi.

Cher recently revealed, however, that she had received an offer to play at the Olympics but turned it down because of the anti-gay law.

"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 said. "I immediately said no. I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there."

Check out Grimes' music video for "Oblivion" below:


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