Entertainment & Arts

Axed Maroon 5 China gigs linked to Dalai Lama tweet

Adam Levine Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Maroon 5 were due to play in Shanghai and Beijing

The cancellation of two Maroon 5 concerts in China has been linked to a band member tweeting the Dalai Lama to wish him happy birthday.

The US group were due to play Shanghai and Beijing in September, but the shows were pulled earlier this week.

Promoters Live Nation did not specify a reason for the cancellations.

However, a tweet by keyboard player Jesse Carmichael, which has since been deleted, has been blamed for angering Chinese authorities.

Carmichael wrote that he had "sang happy birthday to his holiness".

Reports from China suggest that social media site Weibo has been flooded with messages both supporting and condemning the band.

One user apparently wrote: "Musicians should stick to music and do their thing. Why bother with politics?"

Another commented: "Does attending a friend's birthday party equal agreeing with his political views?"

Several artists have fallen foul of authorities in Beijing for publicly supporting the Tibetan religious leader who has been exiled since 1959 and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

Icelandic singer Bjork was criticised after calling for Tibet's independence during a 2008 show in Shanghai while Oasis were reportedly forced to cancel shows in China after Noel Gallagher performed at a Free Tibet concert in New York.

In 2011, rock band Linkin Park were barred from China after they attended a youth media conference in Los Angeles and were photographed with the Dalai Lama.

Last month, the Dalai Lama appeared at Glastonbury to encourage fans at the festival to seek inner happiness.

Artists including Kate Bush, Elbow and Lorde all appear on a new album The Art of Peace: Songs for Tibet II.

Maroon 5 have yet to comment on the cancellation of their shows.