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Malaysia Bans Ke$ha Concert Over 'Religion and Culture'

Authorities call off concert day before it was set to take place

Ke$ha performs during the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Denise Truscello/Getty Images for Clear Channel
October 26, 2013 6:15 PM ET

Ke$ha is officially too hot for Malaysia. The pop star's concert at the Kuala Lumpur stadium was canceled after authorities in the Muslim-majority country determined that it would "hurt cultural and religious sensitivities," the Associated Press reports.

The concert organizer Livescape told the AP that it had received a letter the night before Saturday's show with news of the decision, and claimed that it was losing more than $350,000 because of the ban. Malaysia's Ministry of Communications and Multimedia said that it was rejecting the application for Ke$ha's performance for reasons of religion and culture, but did not elaborate. 

Backstage at Ke$ha's Wild Pop Circus

Livescape said in a statement that Ke$ha had already agreed to make changes in the concert plans to comply with the government's guidelines. "Livescape would also like to go on record to applaud and thank Kesha and her team for working closely with us and having agreed to modify the show to suit the Malaysian culture and sensitivities," the statement said, "including having made adjustments to her song lyrics, wardrobe changes, and a set list that was modified to specifically adhere to the guidelines set forth by the authorities."

Livescape said in a statement that Ke$ha had already agreed to comply with the government's guidelines. "Livescape would also like to go on record to applaud and thank Kesha and her team for working closely with us and having agreed to modify the show to suit the Malaysian culture and sensitivities," the statement said, "including having made adjustments to her song lyrics, wardrobe changes, and a set list that was modified to specifically adhere to the guidelines set forth by the authorities."

A performance by the band Lamb of God was also banned in Malaysia last month after officials accused the group of being blasphemous. In 2011, Lady Gaga's hit "Born This Way" was censored in the country to avoid fines for its pro-LGBT lyrics.

Ke$ha, who recently spoke with Rolling Stone about next Wednesday's premiere of the second season of her show My Crazy Beautiful Life, vented her frustration at the cancellation over Twitter. "To be clear. I did NOT cancel," she wrote, "I was not allowed to play. and then I was going to play anyways and was threatened with imprisonment."

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