Sir Elton John is refusing to cancel his planned shows in Russia later this year (13), because he wants to show his support for the country's gay community amid controversy about the treatment of lesbians, gays and bisexuals.

A number of high-profile stars, including Lady Gaga and Madonna, have urged U.S. authorities to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia over new legislation to limit public displays of homosexuality, and pop superstar Cher even turned down an offer to perform at the Games because she was so outraged by Russia's anti-gay laws.

The Rocket Man is due to perform in Moscow in December (13), but he is resisting pressure to call off the dates because he is keen to show his support for the country's gay community.

He tells Britain's The Guardian, "I'm supposed to be going to Moscow in December. I've got to go. And I've got to think about what I'm going to say very carefully. There's two avenues of thought: do you stop everyone going (to Russia), ban all the artists coming in from Russia? But then you're leaving the men and women who are gay and suffering under the anti-gay laws in an isolated situation.

"As a gay man, I can't leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them. I don't know what's going to happen, but I've go to go."

The singer will perform in Moscow on 6 December (13) and in Kazan on 7 December (13).