One of the summer’s hottest concert tours just got brought down to a simmer. In an emailed statement to Intel Sunday night, Live Nation reps announced that pop star Cee Lo Green has cancelled the remainder of his summer tour with Rihanna, including his scheduled July 12 appearance at Chastain Park amphitheatre.
According to a statement issued by “The Voice” star’s management, the singer behind last year’s most popular chart topper with an X-Rated title dropped out of the tour due to, um, over scheduling. “He always puts 100 percent into his work and with the requirements and time commitment to ‘The Voice,’ on top of heading back into the recording studio and an upcoming book, he feels he wouldn’t give his fans the show that they deserve.”
Hmmm. With “The Voice” rolling into its final week on NBC and given the fact that the singer has already pulled double duty performing both obligations throughout the month of June, the official managerial excuse doesn’t quite pass the sniff test.
Now consider this: Earlier this month, the Atlanta Grammy winner was the subject of an unflattering review by City Pages music editor Andrea Swensson after she panned his opening slot on the tour at the Target Center in Minneapolis. “Do you realize I’m just foreplay for Rihanna?” the review quotes Cee Lo as telling the near-capacity crowd. “Rihanna’s gonna [expletive] you. I’m just here to get you wet.” Swensson went on to write of Cee Lo’s set: “It failed to measure up to the fun factor of his recorded material. Green spent most of the set stationed in front of a mic at the center of the stage, barely moving an inch while he sang, flanked by two forgettable back-up singers and a DJ that was all but hidden behind a giant LCD display.”
Cee Lo later lashed out at the reviewer on his verified Twitter page, tweeting: “I respect your criticism but be fair! People enjoyed last night! I’m guessing ur gay? And my masculinity offended u? Well f–k U!”
After he was accused of being homophobic in the Twitter-verse and the story was picked up by the press, Cee Lo returned to the popular social media forum to post in part: “Apologies gay community! What was homophobic about that?” Perhaps on the advice of his publicity team, all references to the review have since been removed from the singer’s Twitter account. Oddly, on Sunday night at the BET Awards in Los Angeles, the flamboyant singer dressed up in a dress and wig to pay tribute to BET Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Patti LaBelle.
According to his management reps, the Twitter controversy had absolutely nothing to do with his exit from the tour (another theory is that the request came from the tour’s headliner, who is popular with gay fans and is no stranger to controversy). J. Cole will now open for Rihanna at her July 12 Chastain show. Tickets, priced at $125, $85 and $65, are still available for the no-table, no-cooler show.