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It Turns Out Vladimir Putin Didn't Call Elton John After All

The British rocker was the subject of a prank by two Russian TV hosts after he said he wished he could talk to the Russian president about gay rights.

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Updated on

But on Monday, the British rocker posted on Instagram that he'd had a phone call with a surprising member of the global elite: Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The post left many confused and wondering if Sir Elton was having a bit of fun with us all, what with Putin's enacting anti-LGBT policies, like the "anti-gay propaganda law," and his seeming general disdain of LGBT people.


But no, Sir Elton's publicist confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the call actually did take place, though details were scant. "All I know at this point is that Putin called Elton," Fran Curtis wrote in an email.

The next day, Sir Elton told the BBC that he wished that he could have a chat with Putin about Russia's stance on gay rights.

Abraham Caro Marin / AP

"It's probably pie in the sky... He may laugh behind my back when he shuts the door, and call me an absolute idiot, but at least I can think I have the conscience to say I tried," he said.


And on Wednesday, two Russian television hosts admitted that they'd called Sir Elton as a prank and claimed they'd play the audio later. When asked about the claim, Curtis, Sir Elton's spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News: "Info stands per Elton’s Instagram."

As promised, the two Russians released the call in which comedians Vovan and Lexus pretended to be Putin and a translator. That finally prompted Sir Elton to post this picture on Instagram, saying he was still open for a call with the real Putin.

So who knows? Maybe the two will actually have the face-to-face meeting that Sir Elton first promised on Instagram. Until then, we can only hope that it involves a dueling piano set with known crooner Putin.

Hayes Brown is a world news editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

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