Tori Amos defies Putin with lesbian anthem at Moscow gig
The US singer reveals she covered a song by lesbian singers T.A.T.U at a Moscow concert, the day before Putin was to come on the same stage to make a speech
US singer Tori Amos has said she chose to cover a song by a famous lesbian duo, as anti-gay Russian leader Putin was scheduled to make a speech on the same stage.
Amos covered the song ‘Not Gonna Get Us’ by Russian lesbian pop duo t.A.T.u at a concert in Moscow last month, during her tour.
In an interview with an Australian news website, the Grammy-nominated singer revealed notoriously homophobic Russian president Vladimir Putin was going to be on the same stage the next day to make a speech.
‘The Russian audiences suggested it and I thought OK,’ said Amos about her song choice.
‘Little did I know, Putin was the next person to take that stage. He was going to be giving a speech there the next morning. His security showed up at the end of my show to start scoping the place, not knowing I’d just sung a lesbian anthem on stage.’
t.A.T.u were a pop duo who came to prominence because of the lesbian image they portrayed. In 2003, they released their song ‘All The Things She Said’, which featured the two singers dressed in school uniforms kissing in the rain.
The duo later came out to say their lesbian image was just a performance, but they are supporters of the LGBTI community.
Amos, who has a significant LGBTI fan base, said she was aware of the connotations of the song.
‘Well, you can’t not do those songs without knowing what it can mean,’ she said.
‘I mean I’m 50, I’m not completely naive! You can’t be coy about it. To play a t.A.T.u. song, a lesbian anthem, in Moscow — you’ve gotta grab it with both hands, because if you don’t, it’s not going to work.’
Amos also spoke about how her lesbian manager felt about being in Moscow.
‘You’re kind of safe, but even then you have intimidating security everywhere,’ she said.
‘My tour manager, who’s a lesbian, made them stand down because they were very threatening. But the Moscow show was great; we had people from Russia there, and people from Kiev, and to see them joined in unity, above and beyond government, was inspiring to see.’
‘I don’t sing for government, I sing for the people.’
Amos has also covered other LGBTI songs during her tour. Reportedly, she covered Conchita Wurst’s winning Eurovision song ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’. Amos is currently promoting her 2014 album called Unrepentant Geraldines.
Check out the video of Amos covering t.A.T.u here: