China protest singer Cui Jian, one of whose songs became an anthem of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, has pulled out of a major show on state TV.
Cui Jian had been due to play at China’s Spring Festival Gala, which draws a TV audience of hundreds of millions.
His manager You You said that Cui Jian withdrew after organizers tried to censor his performance.
In 1989, Cui Jian had performed to protesting students in Tiananmen Square, who took up his song Nothing to My Name.
Cui Jian had wanted to sing the song during the gala, but the organizers said he would have to choose another, You You told AP.
“It is not only our regret, but also the gala’s,” she said.
The Chinese New Year TV gala show is one of the most watched programs anywhere on the planet and is best known for its patriotic songs, comedy sketches, and dance routines.
With the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square just a few months away, Cui Jian had appeared to be a risky, political choice for such a primetime performance, correspondents say.
During the protests, he performed in the square to thousands of students. But on 4 June 1989, China’s Communist party ordered the military to end the demonstrations – hundreds, if not, thousands were killed.
Following the protests, Cui Jian was barred from playing large venues. But in recent years the musician – who has sold millions of records – has once again been playing in front of big crowds.
He is still a household name in China.
Cui Jian’s manager says that he has been asked to perform on national TV before. But she adds these events sometimes fall through because Cui Jian refuses to lip sync.
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