Pop star Madonna has received death threats for defending Pussy Riot and was threatened with arrest for promoting "gay behaviour" at her Russian concerts in 2012.
The 55-year-old gave an impassioned speech at the Amnesty International Concert in New York on Wednesday, in which she described herself as a "freedom fighter" as she introduced the Russian group to the stage to address the audience at the Barclays Center.
The Russian group was jailed on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred after performing a protest song in a Moscow cathedral, reports contactmusic.com.
"The right to be free, to speak our minds, to have an opinion, to love who we want to love, to be who we are -- do we have to fight for that?
"I've always considered myself a freedom fighter since the early '80s when I realised I had a voice and I could sing more than songs about being a material girl or feeling like a virgin. And I have definitely paid for and have been punished for speaking my mind and for sticking my neck out for this kind of discrimination. But that's OK," said Madonna.
Madonna also admitted she was threatened with arrest for her performances in Russia in 2012 because they promoted "gay behaviour".
"Needless to say, I did not change one moment of my show. 87 of my fans were arrested for gay behaviour - whatever that is," she said.