News :: 2016

Lady Gaga latest target of China displeasure

Music Tibet Newsroom

Lady Gaga joins Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to speak to US Mayors about kindness at JW Marriott in Indianapolis, Indiana, on 26 June 2016.

Lady Gaga joins Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to speak to US Mayors about kindness at JW Marriott in Indianapolis, Indiana, on 26 June 2016. Getty Images/Kevin Mazur

Pop star Lady Gaga has become the latest international musician to be barred from performing in China, for sharing a platform with the Dalai Lama.

The performer met with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader at the United States Conference of Mayors in Indiana on 26 June, where the Nobel laureate gave the keynote speech.

Celebrities supporting the Tibetan cause and meeting the Dalai Lama always incur the wrath of the Chinese government, and are banned from the country.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei issued a statement condemning Lady Gaga for her association with the Dalai Lama, saying, "We hope that people from the international community can be fully aware of his true colours and nature."

The Publicity Department of China echoed Lei's sentiments with an official ban going in place on Monday, saying, "We need to fight against any propaganda fanning the flames of Tibet independence movement."

Beijing regularly vilifies the Tibetan spiritual leader as a political figure who advocates splitting the Himalayan region of Tibet from the rest of China. The Dalai Lama says he simply wants autonomy for Tibet within the Chinese constitution.

The Dalai Lama also met with the US President Barack Obama two weeks ago, and China, as usual, condemned the meeting, saying it encourages Tibetan independence.

This was the second time Lady Gaga has been banned from China. The 30-year-old singer was blacklisted in 2011 beause of the "poor taste and vulgar content" of her album Born This Way.

Other artistes have faced a similar ban for having associated with the Dalai Lama, including pop singer Selena Gomez, who cancelled her concerts in two Chinese cities in August because of photos of herself with the Dalai Lama that she had shared on social media. Gomez' photo with the Dalai Lama was taken in 2014 when she met him during rehearsals for a "We Day Vancouver" event in Canada.

Last September, Bon Jovi concerts in Shanghai and Beijing were cancelled at the last minute because the band had featured the Dalai Lama in a video backdrop in one of their performances in 2010.

Also last year, a Maroon 5 concert in Shanghai was cancelled because band member Jesse Carmichael had attended the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday celebrations in California.

Performer Bjork was also banned in China "for life" after chanting "Tibet, Tibet" at a Shanghai tour in 2008.


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