The B-52s‘ scheduled concert at the White House last night (October 25) was cancelled due to the “sorrow and pain” of the Israel-Hamas war.
The US new wave band – best known for their 1989 hit single ‘Love Shack’ – were set to play at an official state dinner for the Australian PM Anthony Albanese, hosted by the US President Joe Biden.
In a statement, First Lady Jill Biden said (via The Guardian): “While we had initially planned for the legendary B-52s to perform their iconic dance and party music, we are now in a time when so many are facing sorrow and pain, and we have decided to make adjustments to the entertainment portion of the evening.”
It is reported that The B-52s – who are named after a US bomber aircraft – instead attended the state dinner as guests. Presidential military bands provided “instrumental music” in the group’s place.
Albanese arrived at the White House on Tuesday (October 24) ahead of a formal state visit yesterday, when he reportedly discussed topics such as Ukraine, China and the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
“Nurturing our partnerships and relationships with our allies is critically important, especially in these tumultuous times,” Jill Biden continued. “Food is comforting, reassuring and healing, and we hope that this dinner provides a little of that as well.”
Since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, thousands of people have died from both sides of the conflict. A recent report by Al Jazeera states that around 7,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza – with around 2,900 of whom reported as being children. Wall Street Journal also confirmed that over 1,400 Israeli people were killed in the Hamas attack.
Yesterday (October 25) it was reported by the Financial Times that the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, had stated that the country was “preparing a ground invasion” of the Gaza Strip. He made the comments in an address to the nation but gave no timeline for when any ground operation would occur.
Last week saw The Comet Is Coming cancel their last-ever live show in solidarity with Palestine. “Our last statement is a call for [an] immediate ceasefire, an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and routine violence against the Palestinian people,” the band wrote.
The letter calls for “an end to the bombing of Gaza and the safe release of hostages”, as well as a safe route to be established into Palestine to deliver humanitarian aid.
Earlier this month, Madonna addressed the situation during one of her concerts in London. The Queen Of Pop expressed her exasperation at how human beings are capable of “being so cruel to one another”.
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