Jennifer Lopez has decided to pull out of performing the official World Cup song at this year’s tournament’s opening ceremony in Brazil, FIFA has announced.
Officials said Jennifer Lopez could not attend Thursday’s show because of unspecified “production issues”.
Jennifer Lopez was due to perform alongside rapper Pitbull and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte, with whom she has recorded the song We Are One (Ole Ola).
Pitbull and Claudia Leitte will go ahead and perform accompanied by drummers Olodum.
“For production issues, Jennifer Lopez, one of the artists of the official song We Are One, will not be able to perform at the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony,” said a statement.
The 25-minute ceremony in Sao Paulo will feature 600 artists, including acrobatic gymnasts, trampolinists, martial arts-style performers and stilt walkers.
Last week, Jennifer Lopez said she was “thrilled” to be given the chance to perform at the opening ceremony.
“This is an amazing celebration of global unity, competition and sport,” she said.
Pitbull appeared not to be downhearted at Jennifer Lopez’s withdrawal from the show.
“To be performing We Are One to the world, especially in such a beautiful country like Brazil, is going to be a lot of fun,” Pitbull said in a statement released by FIFA.
“But more than this, it is going to show the world that music is the universal language.”
Jennifer Lopez also missed the January event where Pitbull and Claudia Leitte unveiled plans for the song alongside FIFA officials in Rio de Janeiro.
More than 60,000 people are expected to be in Sao Paulo’s Corinthians Arena to watch the ceremony and kick-off match between Brazil and Croatia.
Up to a billion people are expected to tune in on TV worldwide
Jennifer Lopez’s cancellation comes amid protests and strikes in Brazil, where some are unhappy about the amount of money being spent on the tournament.
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