Katy Perry Ditches Alibaba’s Concert After Anti-Trump Tweets

Updated on
  • Singer had been slated to headline Singles’ Day gala
  • Athlete David Beckham named to take Perry’s place at event

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Pop star Katy Perry has pulled out of a star-studded extravaganza put on by China’s largest online retailer.

The “Firework” singer canceled her Thursday-night appearance at Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s annual Singles’ Day event, an hours-long gala intended to launch the country’s biggest online-shopping day of the year. Perry was to have headlined the concert as “global ambassador” alongside fellow recording artists One Republic and basketball legend Kobe Bryant. Instead, sports celebrity David Beckham will take her place.

Alibaba said her withdrawal was prompted by undisclosed family matters. On Wednesday, Perry publicly expressed her disappointment on Twitter about the outcome of the U.S. presidential elections.

“Gonna cry my false eye lashes off tonight,” the songstress wrote, appending an emoticon of the American flag.

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Pioneered by Alibaba in 2009, Singles’ Day has become a Chinese phenomenon, with transactions dwarfing that of Cyber Monday and Black Friday. The closely watched 24-hour shopathon offers clues to the health of e-commerce companies such as Alibaba as well as the strength of domestic consumption.

Alibaba organizes a concert every year in the hours leading up to midnight, Nov. 11. Perry featured prominently in many of Alibaba’s advertisements and her appearance was deemed an effort by the Chinese company to amp up the star-wattage and draw an international audience for its all-important annual online-sales effort.