NEW YORK (AP) — Grammy-winning rapper Roddy Ricch and Colombian superstar J Balvin will no longer perform at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Ricch announced his cancellation in a statement posted to Instagram Live, saying: “My team and I did everything in our power to make this work, due to COVID compliance issues at the last minute we had to call off the performance.”
The MTV VMAs will air on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. The show was originally supposed to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and will now be held outdoors at various places in New York City in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“My team and I are safe and everyone’s health is a main priority, as well as giving a quality performance,” Ricch said. “I appreciate MTV for the opportunity to perform and I hope I can see y’all next year. STAY SAFE.”
A representative for Balvin confirmed on Monday that he would no longer perform at the event, but no details were provided. In a pre-taped video released almost two weeks ago, Balvin revealed he contracted COVID-19 and that it impacted him heavily and made his life difficult. While he accepted an award at Premios Juventud 2020, he told viewers: “This is not a joke … It’s very dangerous. Take a lot of care of yourselves.”
Representatives for MTV didn’t immediately reply to an email seeking comment.
Others set to perform at the VMAs include Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, BTS, Miley Cyrus, DaBaby, Black Eyed Peas, Maluma, Doja Cat and CNCO.
Gaga and Grande are the top contenders with nine nominations apiece, most of them for their No. 1 collaboration “Rain on Me.” Ricch is up for three awards, including song of the year for his No. 1 hit “The Box.” And Balvin has four nominations, including three for best Latin.
Keke Palmer will host the VMAs. This year’s show introduces two new categories reflecting the current pandemic times: best music video from home and best quarantine performance.