Set to appear in the same episode as Donald Trump, The Weeknd and frequent collaborator Belly canceled their scheduled performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live to assert their distaste for the presidential candidate.
In a statement reported by the Associated Press, Belly said, “I feel like the way I was raised was to be able to see through all the titles in this world — from religion to race. I just didn’t want to feel like I was a part of a celebration for somebody who has beliefs that majority of us don’t agree with.”
Trump did not address the duo’s decision to opt out of the show during his interview and there was no comment from anyone at Jimmy Kimmel Live. Jazz vocalist Gregory Porter was chosen to play in place of The Weeknd and Belly. Trump’s previously taken stance on the likes of immigrants, and more specifically, Muslims, is ultimately what drove The Weeknd and Belly away from sharing a stage with Trump.
Belly went on to say, “For me, being Muslim and being somebody that appreciates my access here in America, I love the fact that I’m able to be here. To play my part in this business is a privilege and a beautiful thing. The fact that I could lose that ability through the actions of someone such as Donald Trump isn’t right to me. At all.”
R&B singer-songwriter The Weeknd has co-written many songs with rapper Belly, including Oscar-nominated “Earned it” from the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack and songs like “The Hills” and “Often” from his Grammy-winning album Beauty Behind the Madness. Belly is set to release a new mixtape this Friday called Another Day In Paradise.