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Friday, June 21, 2024

Jennifer Lopez cancels her troubled ‘This is Me’ summer tour

Jennifer Lopez’s North American summer tour, “This Is Me … Live,” has been canceled amid reports of the tour’s underwhelming ticket sales and constant tabloid rumors about the superstar’s marriage to Ben Affleck.

“Jennifer is taking time off to be with her children, family and close friends,” the event-promoting giant Live Nation said in a statement Friday, informing Ticketmaster customers that their refunds would be issued automatically.

The 54-year-old performer said she was “completely heartsick and devastated” about the news in a message to fans shared on her website. “Please know that I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t feel that it was absolutely necessary.”

Lopez didn’t elaborate on her reasons, but a representative said the decision was not made due to ticket sales.

The nearly two-month tour was set to kick off in Orlando on June 26, with shows scheduled across the United States and Canada. But it’s been marred by reports of poor sales since its announcement early this year.

The tour, which was going to be Lopez’s first in five years, was meant to support her ninth album, “This Is Me … Now,” which came out in February as her first solo album in nearly a decade. It didn’t chart well, debuting at No. 38 on the Billboard 200 — a career low for the entertainer. The 13-track album, which the singer has said was inspired by her rekindled relationship with Affleck, was also accompanied by a star-studded, quasi-biographical fictionalized film, “This Is Me … Now: A Love Story,” and a behind-the-scenes documentary, “The Greatest Love Story Never Told.”

In March, the last seven tour dates in Cleveland, Nashville, Raleigh, N.C., Atlanta, Tampa, New Orleans and Houston were canceled. Then in April, the tour name was changed from “This Is Me … Now” to “This Is Me … Live: The Greatest Hits,” which suggested the tour’s focus would be more career-spanning. Screenshots of ticket-booking websites for J-Lo’s tour dates in Denver, Tulsa and Pittsburgh published in a Variety article showed swaths of sections with available tickets.

Similar screenshots for other artists’ shows have also circulated on social media. Last month, the Black Keys seemed to be in a similar predicament to Lopez. The rock duo said in a statement that they were canceling North American tour dates and planned to reschedule the performances in downsized venues to offer an “exciting, intimate experience for both fans and the band.”

Other musicians have also had to make changes to their touring schedules. The Jonas Brothers announced in April that they were postponing the European leg of their tour due to scheduling conflicts. Pink couldn’t perform a few shows last year due to a respiratory infection, and Justin Timberlake canceled a show earlier this year after coming down with the flu.

Live Nation has come under scrutiny from the federal government, which last month filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company and its subsidiary Ticketmaster, claiming they operate as an effective monopoly over the live music industry.

Meanwhile, Lopez has been silent about a flurry of unconfirmed reports claiming that she and Affleck are having relationship problems. The couple, nicknamed “Bennifer” when their relationship became a cultural obsession in the early 2000s, recently rekindled their romance and married in 2022. For the past few weeks, tabloids have been full of headlines about “marriage problems.”

When Lopez was asked to address the rumors at a press junket last week for her latest film “Atlas,” she responded, “You know better than that.”

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