A Russian trio performing Gypsy music with Madonna said Friday they were "pained" to see the pop star booed during her Bucharest, Hungary, concert for criticizing widespread discrimination against Gypsies.
Thousands of people applauded the trio's performance with Madonna on Wednesday night during her worldwide "Sticky and Sweet" tour. But minutes later they booed and jeered the pop star when she said discrimination should end against Eastern Europe's Gypsies, also known as Roma.
In a press conference Friday in Bucharest, Vadim Kolpakov, the youngest member of Kolpakov Trio, said the public reaction was unexpected.
"The audience was wonderful when we played," he said. But he called the booing and jeering "the worst" reaction the Roma group had received during the entire tour.
"We want . . . to be recognized as equals," said trio founder Sasha Kolpakov, a Russian Roma.
Kolpakov Trio will travel with Madonna to Bulgaria and Israel -- the last two destinations on her tour.