Singing Against Sochi: 8 Songs Protesting Putin's Anti-Gay Russia

2.21.2014

By Alex Panisch

These artists are giving it to Putin aurally

The Olympic Games has always been considered a political event. However, this year more than ever, politics have been front and center thanks to the host nation's anti-gay laws, snubs from world leaders and protests around the globe. (NBC Sports may as well be CNN.)

While people continue to speak out, these musicians are waxing anti-Putin poetics. Here are our six favorite songs sung in protest of Russia’s anti-gay policies and human rights abuses. 

1. When you think “protest music” and “Russia,” you think Pussy Riot. The Agit-pop punk collective have become the poster grrls for anti-Putin protesting. 

2. Potpourri of Pearls’ somewhat lewd club track—featuring the always fabulous Justin Vivian Bond—might do to the world “Sochi” the same thing Dan Savage did to the word “Santorum.” 

3. Not really a song in protest of Putin’s anti-gay laws, but it’s impossible not to find significance and maybe even prescience in the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles singing “We Shall Overcome” in Moscow in 1999. 

4. Though we may not agree with all of it's imagery, "Red Flag" is a great track and it’s hard to deny Xelle's anti-Puntin message or the song's great bass line. 

5. Norwegian songstress Annie teamed up with Out 100 honoree Bjarne Melgaard to create “Russian Kiss.” A quintessential dance-pop track in the all the best ways, “Russian Kiss” functions as both a song of protest against Putin’s anti-gay laws and the perfect track to grind up on a hot rando in the club.

6. Who doesn't love Pharrell's Oscar-nominated song “Happy”? It’s one of those records that’s really impossible to hate. Now, thanks to the Internet, it has been turned into an anthem for gay Russians.

7. Youtube personality Ryan James Yezak is calling has released "Your Disco Needs You," a camp-tastic call to arms. Make this a game and see if you can name all of the internet "celebrities."

8. RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Courtney Act calls up on gays ‘round the world to send good vibes to Mother Russia in her dance track, “To Russia With Love.”

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