Maroon 5 banned from China after tweeting Happy Birthday to the Dalai Lama

US pop band had been scheduled to perform in Beijing and Shanghai in September

Maroon 5 have been banned from China after showing support for the Dalai Lama.

The group had been scheduled to perform in Beijing and Shanghai in September as part of an Asian tour but those shows were scrapped earlier this week.

No official explanation has been given but a tweet by keyboardist Jesse Carmichael, which has since been deleted, wished the Dalai Lama a Happy 80th Birthday earlier this month and linked to a photograph on Instagram that was also later removed.


The musician also reportedly attended a party celebrating the Buddhist leader’s birthday in the United States.

The Beijing edition of Time Out added: “We hear musings about Maroon 5 being prevented from performing by our political friends up above.

“Meeting the Dalai Lama is all an artist needs to get a big X on their visa application.”


The Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile since 1959 and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, is revered around the world.

But he has been in conflict with China’s Communist leaders for many years. His recent appearance at Glastonbury was criticised by the Chinese government.

Oasis were also previously forced to cancel shows in China in 2009, because Noel Gallagher performed at a Free Tibet concert in New York in 1997.


Other musicians who have been banned include Bjork, who incurred the government’s wrath after calling for Tibet’s independence during a 2008 show in Shanghai.

Elton John was also interviewed by Chinese police after dedicating a 2012 concert in Beijing “to the spirit and talent of Ai Weiwei”, a dissident artist.

Meanwhile a man was recently found guilty of throwing a bag of powdered sugar at Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine.