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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Contact Hayes Brown at hayes.brown@buzzfeed.com.

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