Bob Dylan has reportedly canceled his tour of Asia after the Chinese government blocked concerts in Shanghai and Beijing.
It is believed that China's ministry of culture, which handles the planning of concerts by overseas artists, were threatened by Dylan's history as an icon of the 1960s counterculture, according to Jeffrey Wu of the Taiwan-based promoters Brokers Brothers Herald.
When these concerts fell through, other concerts planned in Hong Kong and South Korea were also canceled. "The chance to play in China was the main attraction for him," said Wu. "When that fell through, everything else was called off."
Permits for foreign performers in China have become a difficult process after a 2008 performance by Icelandic singer Bjork. Bjork angered authorities by singing a song called "Declare Independence" and shouting "Tibet! Tibet!" at the end.
China's Culture ministry later said that Bjork's performance had "hurt the feelings of the Chinese people."