Both the opening and closing ceremonies of the XXX Summer Olympics in London made the most of Britain’s significant contributions to popular music with performances by major pop stars including Paul McCartney, the Spice Girls, George Michael, the surviving members of Queen, Annie Lennox and, uh, Jessie J. The next Olympic games will be held in Sochi, Russia in 2014, and well…let’s just say that their opening and closing ceremonies will be very lacking in terms of international star power. Though Russia has had a thriving local rock and pop scene going back several decades now, no one but t.A.T.u. and the Glasnost-era novelty Gorky Park have ever managed to break through to Western audiences, maybe because we’re all just not ready for the next-level sleaze of Russian pop culture.
It’s way too early to know who will actually perform at these events, but if Sochi’s ceremonies are going to anything like those in London, the odds are very good that some of these singers will turn up on stage. (Sadly, it seems safe to say that Pussy Riot won’t be invited.)