Sam Smith On Why He'll Never Perform In Russia
Sam Smith might have conquered the globe and be tipped for big success at the Grammy Awards tonight, but his Russian fans will be waiting in vain to see him play live.
The British star, aged 22, has declared that he will never play in the huge Eastern European country because of the way it treats lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
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He told Rolling Stone: "I don't hate Russia, but I just will never go to Russia.
"What they do to gay people there is just disgusting and it makes me very angry.
"I've even said, no matter how many billions of pounds you could offer me, I just couldn't, which makes me sad because I have Russian fans. They contact me on Twitter, it makes me sad."
Russia has introduced laws outlawing what it terms "homosexual propaganda" in recent years - with president Vladimir Putin remaining defiant in the face of international criticism.
Set to perform at the Grammys tonight, Smith is up for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo.