By Mesfin Fekadu
May 25, 2016
R&B singer The Weeknd and rapper Belly have canceled their performance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” because Donald Trump was set to appear on the episode.
The Oscar-nominated musicians were slated to record their performance Wednesday in Los Angeles for the late-night ABC show. Belly said he canceled because he didn’t want to share a stage with Trump and disagrees with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s views and beliefs.
“I feel like the way I was raised was to be able to see through all the titles in this world — from religion to race,” Belly said in a statement. “I just didn’t want to feel like I was a part of a celebration for somebody who has beliefs that majority of us don’t agree with.”
Trump has been criticized by some political rivals and voters for his comments on topics including women, refugees, immigrants and Muslims, such as when he said some Mexican immigrants in the U.S. illegally are “rapists” and when he called for a ban on Muslim immigration into the United States.
A Trump spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on The Weeknd and Belly.
The Jimmy Kimmel show had no comment, a representative said. Representatives for The Weeknd didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.
The Weeknd won two Grammy Awards earlier this year, including best urban contemporary album for “Beauty Behind the Madness.” Belly has co-written many of The Weeknd’s hits, including “Earned It,” ‘’The Hills,” ‘’Into the Night” and “Often.”
The Weeknd appears on Belly’s song “Might Not,” which they were set to perform on Kimmel’s show.
Belly, who’s signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation management, will release a new mixtape, “Another Day In Paradise,” on Friday.
“I’m here on a campaign of positivity and love and to contribute what I can to music,” Belly said. “I create songs people go to sleep and wake up to, songs that they fall in love to. For me, being Muslim and being somebody that appreciates my access here in America, I love the fact that I’m able to be here. To play my part in this business is a privilege and a beautiful thing. The fact that I could lose that ability through the actions of someone such as Donald Trump isn’t right to me. At all.”
Belly shared an Oscar nomination for best original song with The Weeknd for “Earned It,” which appears on the “Fifty Shades of Grey” soundtrack.
Belly and The Weekend are from Canada. Belly also co-wrote Beyonce’s “6 Inch,” which features vocals from The Weeknd and appears on her “Lemonade” album.
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