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Cher Turned Down Sochi Olympics Performance Offer In Protest Of Russia's Anti-Gay Laws

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CHER RUSSIA OLYMPICS GAY
Singer Cher performs at the "Dance on the Pier" as part of Pride events Sunday, Jun. 30, 2012 in New York. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Invision/AP Images) | AP

You can add Cher to the ever-growing list of celebrities who have denounced Russia's "gay propaganda" laws.

In a new interview, the legendary singer-actress reveals that she turned down the chance to perform at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi because of the country's anti-gay legislation.

"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 told Maclean's writer Elio Iannacci. "I immediately said no. I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there."

Still, Cher says her friend offered a slightly more optimistic take on the overall situation in Russia: "He said the Russian people don’t feel the way the government does."

She also sounded off on two other iconic pop divas who have courted controversy in recent months after speaking out against Russia's stance on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community: Lady Gaga and Madonna.

"Who knows how she will evolve, but Gaga has an idea for herself and she follows it," Cher noted. "Madonna was the same way. Madonna said and did what she wanted, whenever she wanted and she was ahead of the curve. Always. She had her ear to the ground more than anyone."

You can read the full Maclean's interview with Cher here.

2013 is turning out to be a banner year for Cher, who's gearing up to release "Closer to the Truth," her first album of all-new material in over a decade, on Sept. 24. She kicked off the promotional blitz for the new album with a headlining performance at New York City's Pride Dance on the Pier.

She'll soon join the fifth season of "The Voice," as an adviser to Blake Shelton's team, and is reportedly planning to embark on a "Dressed To Kill" concert tour next year.

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