LOS ANGELES, Aug 19 (Reuters) - A four-concert festival in Canada has been canceled after its headliner, R&B singer Chris Brown, had to pull out for personal and health reasons, the festival’s promoter said on Monday.
“After ongoing conversation and consultation with this year’s headline act Chris Brown, and in light of the performer’s recent personal and health-related issues, a decision has been made to cancel all four scheduled performances,” Drop Entertainment Group owner Stephen Tobin said in a statement about the Energy/Summer Rush Canadian concert series that was to run Aug. 29 to Sept. 1.
“In the absence of a festival headliner, we cannot proceed.”
Brown, 24, is on probation in California for assaulting former girlfriend and fellow singer Rihanna in 2009, and has become a polarizing figure after the assault, which took place in Los Angeles on the eve of that year’s Grammy awards.
Neither the promoter nor Brown’s publicist elaborated on the issues behind the cancellation. But the publicist did confirm that the Grammy winner suffered a non-epileptic seizure on Aug. 9 in Los Angeles.
The decision also comes after some sponsors, including Canadian telecom company Rogers Communications Inc. and Molson Coors Brewing Co., pulled their affiliation with the concert in Halifax, Nova Scotia, after Brown was named as a performer.
“Our agreement to continue sponsorship of the series was made before Chris Brown’s appearance was announced,” Rogers spokeswoman Heather Robinson said. “However, as soon as he was confirmed as one of eight performers, we decided to withdraw our sponsorship.”
An online petition in Nova Scotia protesting Brown performing in Halifax gained more than 16,000 signatures and the city’s mayor, Mike Savage, also spoke out against the “Turn Up the Music” singer playing there.
The concert series is to be rescheduled for 2014, the promoter said. The shows were scheduled for Winnipeg, Manitoba; Toronto; Halifax; and Saint John, New Brunswick.
Last week, Brown agreed to complete an additional 1,000 hours of community labor in Los Angeles after his probation was temporarily revoked and he was accused of cutting corners on earlier community labor work.