Controversial American R&B singer Chris Brown won’t be performing in four Canadian cities later this month after all, after the promoter of the Energy Rush festival announced he has been dropped as the main act.
Brown was scheduled to headline the Energy Rush festival in Halifax, Toronto, Saint John and Winnipeg.
“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,” said Stephen Tobin, owner of Drop Entertainment Group, in a statement Monday.
The promoter said Energy Rush can’t go ahead without a headliner so it has been postponed until next year.
In Halifax, Brown's show at Alderney Landing came under fire as soon as it was announced.
Many ardently argued the city shouldn't support Brown, who was convicted of assaulting his then girlfriend, pop star Rihanna, in 2009. The show stoked outcry on social media, with some people calling for a boycott.
Sponsors pull support
A handful of sponsors — Rogers, Molson Coors Brewing Co., esthetics company Touch of Radiance and the Halifax campus of the Centre for Arts and Technology — pulled their support once Brown was revealed to be the headline act.
Even Halifax Mayor Mike Savage voiced his disapproval.
Tobin said the cancellation has nothing to do with the controversy.
Brown's publicist Nicole Perna said the performer needs time to focus on himself and a new album.
Energy Rush organizers said this isn't the end of their plans and they hope to reschedule the show for next year. They said the event had strong ticket sales, although they didn't specify any numbers.
Refunds will be available starting on Thursday.
The controversy in Halifax came as a judge in Los Angeles revoked Brown's probation in July after reading details of an alleged hit-and-run accident in May. Brown was not ordered to go to jail.