Victor Willis, original lead singer for the Village People, said he doesn’t mind that their hit “Y.M.C.A.” has become a gay anthem, but he will not perform the song in protest of Russia’s anti-gay laws at this year’s Sochi Olympic games.
Gay rights activists have suggested the “Y.M.C.A.” be played when American Olympians are introduced at the opening ceremony.
The song has long since been a gay anthem, but Willis said it was not intended to be.
“If they want to use the song that way, go right ahead, but I think it’s silly because the lyrics were written by me as an expression of urban youths having fun at the Y.M.C.A.,” Willis said according to 3 News. “The words were crafted by me to be taken any number of ways but not specific to gays. It’s much broader than that. The song is universal. I don’t mind that gays think the song is about them but I won’t perform the song in support of any protest.”
While he will not perform as part of a protest, the original frontman did say he would perform.
“But I would consider performing the song as part of the opening ceremonies and lead the stadium into the ‘Y.M.C.A.’ dance as a show of world unity because that’s something I believe the world can relate to. But I have only been asked to perform as part of a protest. And to that, I say no.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed strict anti-gay laws into effect in July, causing international backlash.
Following the new law, Putin signed a decree banning all demonstrations and rallies in Sochi throughout the Winter Games.
(Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals)