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Posted on Sat. Dec. 21, 2013 - 12:30 am EDT

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

Songwriter: ‘Y.M.C.A.’ not protest song

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The original lead singer for the Village People doesn’t mind that his 1970s disco hit “Y.M.C.A.” became a gay anthem, but he doesn’t want it used to protest the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

With gay rights a hot-button issue for the coming Games, Victor Willis says he recently declined an invitation to appear in Russia and has similarly dismissed suggestions that he perform the tune as a rallying cry.

“If they want to use the song that way, go right ahead,” Willis said in a statement. “But I think it’s silly because the lyrics were written by me as an expression of urban youths having fun at the YMCA.

“The words were crafted by me to be taken any number of ways but not specific to gays,” he said. “It’s much broader than that. The song is universal.”

The Russian government has drawn fire in recent months for adopting legislation that threatens to prosecute anyone who promotes “nontraditional sexual relations” in the presence of minors.

– Los Angeles Times


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