(Reuters) - Pop star Demi Lovato will replace Ariana Grande at this year’s All-Star Game concert in Cincinnati on Saturday, Major League Baseball said on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old Grande said she was forced to pull out of the concert because she had oral surgery on Monday, and a senior MLB official wished her a speedy recovery.
In a separate statement, Grande apologized on Wednesday for saying she hated America in comments, caught on tape, that she said were taken out of context.
Sitting with her boyfriend at a California bakery over the July 4 weekend, an employee came out with a tray of large doughnuts and when Grande looked at them, she used an expletive and added: “I hate Americans. I hate America.”
Grande, who was born in Florida and now lives in Los Angeles, said in the statement she has “always made it clear that I love my country.”
“What I said in a private moment with my friend, who was buying the doughnuts, was taken out of context and I am sorry for not using more discretion with my choice of words,” she said.
Calling herself an advocate for healthy eating, Grande said she sometimes gets “upset by how freely we as Americans eat and consume things without giving any thought to the consequences.”
Saturday’s concert will take place at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.
“We’re disappointed that Ariana Grande cannot partake in the All-Star festivities, but wish her a speedy recovery,” said Tony Petitti, MLB’s chief operating officer.
Reporting by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by Sandra Maler and Mohammad Zargham