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Alicia Keys cancelled World Cup gig ‘last minute’; Here is all you need to know

Executives are finding themselves in even more turmoil this week as the World Cup opening ceremony gets underway on Sunday due to new reports that Alicia Keys, who had supposedly been hired to perform, abruptly chose not to show up. The famed soccer event, held in Qatar this year, is claimed to have had difficulty drawing performers because of the nation’s divisive attitude on human rights.

Once declining “big-money offers” from Dua Lipa, Shakira, and rock icon Rod Stewart, things improved after Alicia was booked. That is, until the “Girl On Fire” singer disagreed with the show’s choreographer, Barbara Pons, over the singer’s demand to utilize a piano during her performance.

During her interview with Catalan radio station RAC1, Barbara made the remarks, claiming that she had just learned the night before the interview that the 41-year-old would no longer be performing. Since World Cup organizers had yet to make Alicia’s participation as a musician known to the public, it is unclear whether her engagement was intentionally kept a secret.

Singer Dua Lipa recently stressed that she would not be at the performance when she responded to rumors that she had been asked to perform a mashup of her hits on stage via her Instagram Stories. The “Rules” singer added that although she would enjoy supporting England from the comfort of her own home, she would not travel to Qatar until its rules were changed.

“There is a lot of speculation that I will be performing at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar,” she wrote. “I will be cheering England on from afar and I look forward to visiting Qatar when it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host the World Cup.”

According to the Daily Mail, rock icon Sir Rod Stewart turned down a $1 million invitation to perform at the World Cup because he disagrees with Qatar’s treatment of its beliefs on human rights, such as its prohibition of same-sex marriage. In a nation like Qatar, it is against the law to be homosexual, and those who are found guilty face severe penalties, including years in prison.

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