American singer-songwriter James Taylor has decided to cancel his February 25, 2017 concert at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila over the wave of drug-related killings in the Philippines, The Philippine Inquirer Online reported on Tuesday.
Making the announcement on his official website, Twitter and Facebook accounts on December 20, the highly-regarded singer-songwirter said: I have been eagerly looking forward to playing 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. The scourge of addiction is a worldwide problem and does serious harm, not only to the addict but also 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.
A five-time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, he is regarded as a progenitor of folk rock who sold more than 100 million records worldwide. He knows a lot of drug addiction because he battled it for years and is glad to survive the ordeal. He also values human rights and rule of law.
Taylor, 68, is currently on a world tour to promote his most recent album Before This World released in 2015.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)