Lauryn Hill has announced that she won’t be playing in Israel, as previously planned, due to her inability to book a corresponding gig in Palestine.
Writing on Facebook yesterday (May 4), the singer said that she had been planning on playing a gig in in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah, but couldn’t schedule a date in Palestine around the same time as her Israeli show. Due to not wanting to be drawn into the current political situation in the region, Hill instead decided to scrap both shows.
“I’ve wanted very much to bring our live performance to this part of the world, but also to be a presence supporting justice and peace,” Hill wrote. “It is very important to me that my presence or message not be misconstrued, or a source of alienation to either my Israeli or my Palestinian fans.”
The statement reads in full: “Dear Friends and Fans in Israel, when deciding to play the region, my intention was to perform in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah. Setting up a performance in the Palestinian Territory, at the same time as our show in Israel, proved to be a challenge. I’ve wanted very much to bring our live performance to this part of the world, but also to be a presence supporting justice and peace. It is very important to me that my presence or message not be misconstrued, or a source of alienation to either my Israeli or my Palestinian fans. For this reason, we have decided to cancel the upcoming performance in Israel, and seek a different strategy to bring my music to ALL of my fans in the region. May healing, equanimity, and the openness necessary for lasting resolution and reconciliation come to this region and its people.”
Hill was recently forced to pull out of a show in Lagos, Nigeria after a promoter failed to take care of the necessary travel arrangements. Addressing the situation in a video posted to Facebook, Hill partially explained why she hadn’t made the concert, apologised to her Nigerian fans, and assured them she’d be there to perform at a later date before signing off with an acoustic rendition of her hit ‘Doo-Wop (That Thing)’ with backing provided by members of her family.
“Hello, Lagos. Listen, we’re very sorry we couldn’t be there with you tonight,” she said. “We were at the airport for seven hours yesterday, trying to get to you. But we’re gonna make it there, we’re gonna get there. We wish everyone a wonderful evening, and we’re gonna leave you with this.”
The 39-year-old former Fugees member hasn’t released a studio album since 1998 and, in recent years, has become known as something of an erratic live performer. Her series of shows in London last September, for example, were met with harsh Twitter criticism. Following an appearance at the O2 Academy Brixton on September 20, Hill began to trend on the social network after attendees complained that she was an hour and a half late onstage and that the revamped versions her of classic songs were nearly unrecognisable from the original versions.