On Campus

Chris Brown scraps shows due to 'personal, health problems'

Sponsors pulled out after pressure from activists

Four summer concerts in Canada featuring Chris Brown have been cancelled because of the R&B star’s personal and health problems, the promoter behind the events said Monday.

Brown was scheduled to perform in Winnipeg, Toronto, Halifax and Saint John, N.B., for a four-day swing beginning Aug. 29, but the owner of Drop Entertainment Group said the concert series was scrapped because they couldn’t proceed without a headliner.

“It was an ongoing consultation and conversation with Chris Brown and his management team,” Stephen Tobin said in an interview.

“We came to a mutual understanding and decision to simply cancel all four scheduled performances.”

Nicole Perna, Brown’s publicist, said the decision to cancel his concerts weren’t due to personal or health problems, but she declined to specify what prompted the cancellations.

The announcement in July that Brown would headline the concert series was met with an outpouring of anger because of his past brushes with the law, including the 2009 assault of fellow R&B star and ex-girlfriend Rihanna. In Halifax, corporate sponsors pulled their support and the city’s mayor also spoke out against the event, saying he was disappointed Brown was invited to perform.

The Grammy Award-winning singer has also had recent legal troubles. On Friday, the 24-year-old had his probation reinstated and was sentenced to 1,000 hours of community labour after being involved in an alleged hit-and-run accident earlier this year. The hit-and-run charge was dismissed, but he agreed to a deal worked out in the chambers of a Los Angeles judge.

He is also facing a lawsuit launched last week from a man alleging assault and battery from a member of his entourage during a fight at a Hollywood recording studio in January.

Brown also suffered a seizure on Aug. 9. At the time, Perna said the performer’s doctor attributed the episode to “intense fatigue and extreme emotional stress, both due to the continued onslaught of unfounded legal matters and the non-stop negativity.”

Tobin said Brown’s legal woes may have contributed to some of his health-related issues, but that they had “absolutely no bearing” on the decision to cancel his Canadian performances.

“At the end of the day, there was no disputing that Chris Brown had thousands of fans across this country, all of which I’m sure are very disappointed about this news,” said Tobin.

Susie Erjavec Parker, who had organized a domestic violence fundraiser to protest Brown’s concert in Winnipeg, said she was not surprised to hear it was nixed.

“Do I think it has anything to do with little old me and the protests that are happening across the country? I highly doubt it,” she said, adding that the fundraiser will proceed as planned.

“Chris Brown was just a catalyst for this event,” said Erjavec Parker. “This event is a positive way to raise awareness and educate people about the challenges of domestic violence in everyday society.”

Tobin said he would not rule out having Brown headline a concert series in the future.

Refunds will be available where tickets were purchased beginning Thursday, Tobin said.

—Geordon Omand

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