Lady Gaga, Madonna among several U.S. performers to run afoul of Russia

Lady Gaga performs at the Grammy Awards on Jan. 31, 2010, in Los Angeles. Getty

(CBS News) Two of the biggest pop stars in the world, Madonna and Lady Gaga, could face charges in Russia. Performers from the U.S. have increasingly clashed with the Kremlin.

The latest is the group The Bloodhound Gang. They've been banned from Russia and could also face prosecution after a band member stuffed a Russian flag down his pants while performing in Ukraine. The stunt may have gotten wild cheers from fans in the Ukraine, but in Russia, it got band members banned from the stage.

The group was attacked at the airport and literally kicked out of the country. They're just the latest American act to fall afoul of the Russian government.

Both Madonna and Lady Gaga are being investigated for entering Russia illegally last year on the wrong visas after defending gay rights on stage.

Lady Gaga said on stage, "Where's all my gay kids tonight? Tonight this is my house, Russia. You can be gay in my house."

Madonna went further, passing out pink armbands and standing up for the Russian punk group Pussy Riot -- three of its members were sentenced to prison for a protest against Vladimir Putin.

"60 Minutes": Pussy Riot punk band remains defiant of Putin's Russia

Madonna said during a concert on August 7, 2012, "I think that they have done something courageous. I think they have paid the price for this act, and I pray for their freedom."

Anti-gay sentiment is strong in Russia, and Madonna was sued under a law that makes it illegal to promote homosexuality to minors. Late last year, the lawsuit was dismissed.

Randall Roberts, a music critic for the Los Angeles Times, said, "Both Lady Gaga and Madonna built their careers on being provocative, whether it's in Russia, the United States, or anywhere in the world, so for them not to do so would be would be more confusing than them standing up for what they believe in."

The crowd may love them for it, but in Russia, the government is another matter, not to mention the Russian people. There's a lot of anger over The Bloodhound Gang incident. The band says it wasn't meant as a political statement, but it's salt in the wound for U.S.-Russia relations. Russian authorities are looking into criminal charges against the band for desecrating the flag.

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