Health Issues Cause Successful Musicians to Cancel Tours — MARIST CIRCLE


Imagine this: you’ve been waiting years to see your favorite artist live and after the wild ride that was the COVID-19 pandemic, the time is finally here. Except in this case, it ends before it even begins. Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, country band Lady A and others have canceled their upcoming shows for unanticipated reasons.

This June, Justin Bieber announced that he was diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome (RHS), a neurological disorder affecting his ear and facial nerves, resulting in facial paralysis. HRH is related to the virus that causes chickenpox and can lead to shingles later in life, but on occasion will develop into the rare Bell’s palsy-like condition Bieber suffers from. After posting a crushing video on his social media, the comment section was flooded with concerned fans expressing loads of support. This postshowcasing half of his face immobilized, surpassed 60 million views on Instagram.

“I think it’s really important to prioritize mental health and physical health especially,” Ava Sapano ’25 said. “Touring is a draining process, so you have to really consider your own health.”

After announcing he would be taking a brief hiatus from his “Justice” world tour, Bieber said he’ll be “using this time to rest and relax and get back to 100% so that I can do what I was born to do.”

“For those who are frustrated with my cancellations of the next shows, I’m just physically not obviously capable of doing them,” Bieber said. “I wish this wasn’t the case, but obviously my body’s telling me I got to slow down.”

He returned to the stage in early August with hopes to play the rest of his shows, but announced to fans on Sept. 6 that he will be calling off the rest of his world tour to prioritize his health. He said on his Instagram story, “I realized that I need to make my health a priority right now. So I’m going to take a break from touring for the time being.”

Marist College students all seem to be understanding of this decision. Although, some believe postponing the tour rather than canceling would be more fair to the fans.

Justin Bieber is not the only teenage heartthrob who decided to take a break from touring this year. On July 27, Shawn Mendes announced he was canceling his “Wonder” world tour due to mental health reasons after rediscovering the overwhelming pressure of being on the road and playing live.

“I know you all have been waiting so long to see these shows and it breaks my heart to tell you this, but I promise I’ll be back as soon as I’ve taken the right time to heal,” the “Stitches” singer wrote on instagram. “We were hopeful that I might be able to pick up with the rest of the dates after some much needed time off, but at this time I have to put my health as my first priority.”

After starting The Shawn Mendes Foundation in August of 2019, it was obvious that mental health and the well-being of young people was important to the 24-year-old pop singer. This organization works to give our younger generation a voice and the power to speak up against unfortunate issues. The idea for this empowering project was inspired by “young changemakers he met while touring the world.”

Considering Mendes has done so much for those in need through this charitable organization, it is presumed his fans would respect his decision. Some have and some have not, but the majority of Marist students recognize the importance of these celebrities looking out for themselves.

Sapano said, “I know fans will be disappointed, but if the artist isn’t 100% up to it they shouldn’t be forced to tour just to please fans.”

Mental health can be affected by many different factors. As for Mendes, it was the pressure from touring after the pandemic that caused him to halt his “Wonder” world tour. For Charles Kelley from country group Lady A, it was his worsening battle with sobriety that caused the band to make a similar decision. Following the theme, Lady A announced their tour cancellation through their Instagram account. They wrote on Aug. 4, “We are a band, but more importantly… we’re family. We’re proud to say that Charles has embarked on a journey to sobriety.”

Not only did the trio postpone their tour until 2023, but they also backed out of an upcoming performance at the Nebraska State Fair planned to take place in September.

Being in the public eye while touring would put lots of pressure on Kelley, so although a tough choice, the band felt it was necessary. Tess Donovan ’25 said, “A big part of tour culture is going out and partying, so if Kelley was in that environment he’d be more inclined to break his sobriety.”

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