James Taylor cancels Manila show, cites drug war as reason

  • American singer-songwriter and guitarist James Taylor cancelled his concert in Manila
  • Taylor said he needed to make a political stand
  • He cited  the increasing number of deaths related to President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs as reason 

His version of Carol King’s classic song “You’ve Got A Friend” earned him his first No. 1 hit in the music airwaves that paved the way for his inclusion as one of the best-selling artists of all time. Filipinos would have been lucky to see him perform live via a concert but the Grammy-winning American singer-songwriter James Taylor announced the cancellation of his Manila performance supposedly next year; saying he needs to make a political stand.

On social media, the popular American singer-songwriter and guitarist cited the increasing number of deaths related to President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs.

His social media post reads: “I’ve been eagerly looking to play for my Philippine audience ever since we added Manila to our tour of the Pacific this coming February, so it saddens me to cancel our concert there. I don’t think of my music as being particularly political, but sometimes one is called upon to make a political stand.”

Furthermore, he posted: “The scourge of addiction is a worldwide problem and does serious harm, not only to the addict but to our society. For a sovereign nation to prosecute and punish, under the law, those responsible for the illegal trade in drugs, is, of course, understandable, even commendable; but recent reports from the Philippines of summary executions of suspected offenders without trial or judicial process are deeply concerning and unacceptable to anyone who loves the rule of law.”

As such, the Taylor, who retained a huge audience over the decades, went on to apologize “for any inconvenience or disappointment this may cause my Filipino friends.”

Taylor likewise thanked concert promoter Renen de Guia for his patience and understanding; noting that all tickets that were sold will be fully refunded.

Meanwhile, Taylor’s other concerts specifically Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand will still push through, he added.

Taylor, who became popular for his songs “Fire and Rain,” “Country Road,” “Something in the Way She Moves,” “Mexico” and “Shower the People,” among others, which until now continues to top the airwaves, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.