Pharrell Williams cancels Israel concert

Marcy Oster

Pharrell Williams performing at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on June 28, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello/Invision via AP Images)

Pharrell Williams performing at the BET Awards in Los Angeles, June 28, 2015. (Chris Pizzello/Invision via AP Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Grammy Award-winning singer and producer Pharrell Williams canceled a concert in Israel.

Williams’ representatives cited unanticipated “scheduling conflicts” for scrapping the July 21 concert in Rishon Lezion, a central Israeli coastal town about 5 miles south of Tel Aviv. They said the concert would be rescheduled.

But Israeli media reported that the pace of ticket sales for the “Happy” singer, also a judge on the U.S. reality show “The Voice,” was slow.

When the concert was canceled on Wednesday, some 8,000 of the 14,000 tickets available for the event had been sold, Haaretz reported. Ticket buyers will receive a refund.


Last year, hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters supporting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement demonstrated outside a concert in Cape Town, South Africa, over the singer’s promotional deal with a major national retailer that sells products from Israel, including produce from the West Bank.

Williams has won 11 Grammy Awards for both performing and producing.

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