Sorry, Elton, Putin Didn't Invite You to Gay Parade
Phone call between singer, Russian president was a prank
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2015 9:00 AM CDT

(Newser) "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" will probably be set to "Repeat" on Elton John's playlist after he gets word he won't be going to Moscow at Vladimir Putin's invite after all. The singer has publicly said in the past he wants to engage in a dialogue with the Russian leader on LGBT rights, so he proved an easy mark for Russian pranksters Alexei Stolyarov and Vladimir Krasnov, who decided to give Sir Elton a ring, the Guardian reports. In an 11-minute call with "Putin" and his translator, Elton gushes how much he loves Russia and says "it's a great privilege to be able to speak to one of the most influential people in the whole world."

The 68-year-old singer became even more excited when the fake president invited him to Moscow to attend a gay pride parade, and he even posted Putin's picture on Instagram after the call, commenting, "Thank-you to President Vladimir Putin for reaching out and speaking via telephone to me today. I look … forward to meeting with you face-to-face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia." When asked how they got John's number, the hoaxsters told a Russian TV host it was a "professional secret," reports CNN. (Not a hoax: Putin riding in a submarine and pumping iron with his prime minister.)