Rapper Vanilla Ice has cancelled his forthcoming Independence Day (4 July) concert after facing backlash for performing during a second coronavirus spike.
The “Ice Ice Baby” rapper had been booked to perform in Austin, Texas, on 3 July, but received heavy criticism as the city recorded a dramatic rise in its number of coronavirus cases.
In a video shared to Twitter on Thursday (2 July) night, Vanilla Ice explained that he wouldn’t be attending the concert anymore, saying: “I listen to my fans. I hear all you people out there.
Download the new Independent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
“I didn’t know the numbers were so crazy in Austin,” he continued. “We were hoping it would be a lot better by the Fourth of July because we booked this concert a long time ago… but it turned into a big focal point on me and it’s not about that. Anyway, happy Fourth of July and hopefully by New Years this corona crap will have a cure.”
Just hours before, the rapper had defended the concert, telling people: “We can’t live in a bubble.”
Last week, Austin saw a huge increase in coronavirus infection numbers, with Governor Greg Abbott warning that the number of daily cases had shot up from 2,000 a day to 5,000 due to the loosening of lockdown measures.
Vanilla Ice had been due to play at the city’s outdoor Emerald Point Bar & Grill, which was operating at half capacity of 2,500 tickets. All VIP tickets to the concert had reportedly sold out.
“I can’t wait to get back to this,” Vanilla Ice told his fans. “The Nineties were the best. We didn’t have coronavirus, or cell phones, or computers. We had 5.0’s, blockbuster, Beavis and Butthead, Wayne’s World, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan.”