Entertainment & Arts

Kesha concert banned in Malaysia

Image caption Promoters said they were 'distraught' by the decision

A planned concert by US pop star Kesha has been banned by Malaysian authorities, who say it would hurt cultural and religious sensitivities.

Organiser Livescape said it had been notified about the decision the day before Saturday's planned show in Kuala Lumpur.

The singer had previously agreed to change her song lyrics and wardrobe to comply with rules for performers.

Livescape said it was "saddened" at the Malaysian authorities' decision.

"We have done everything in our power to appeal against this decision. Unfortunately, despite efforts that were made down to the wire, including just minutes ago, we are distraught to confirm that the show will be cancelled," it said on its Facebook page.

The promoter said it was losing more than 1.1 million ringgit (£217,000) because of the cancellation.

It urged the Malaysian government to "engage in a productive dialogue" with concert promoters to prevent similar incidents in future.

Kesha spoke of her frustration at the cancellation on Twitter saying: "To be clear. I did NOT cancel. I was not allowed to play. And then I was going to play anyways and was threatened with imprisonment."

Jason Kong, head of PR for Livescape, said the pop star had consulted the organiser on what would happen if she ignored the ban.

"We told her we would advise against it because the authority will shut down the show," he told Malaysian newspaper The Star.

"I don't know where the imprisonment [claim] came from. I don't think anyone from the government was in touch with her. I think it was a tweet of frustration."

The Malaysian ministry of communications and multimedia did not elaborate further on its reasons for the ban in its statement.

The Muslim country has strict rules for female performers, who must cover up from the top of the chest to the knees.

Beyonce previously pulled a concert in Malaysia in 2007, weeks after Gwen Stefani reluctantly agreed to cover up after protests her raunchy costumes could corrupt the country's youth.

The Pussycat Dolls were also censured in 2006, with local promoters fined for allowing them to perform "sexually suggestive" routines.

Last month, Malaysian officials also barred a performance by US metal band Lamb of God, saying the group's work was blasphemous.

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