Music legend Bob Dylan has cancelled plans to tour Asia this month after he was reportedly refused permission to play in China.
The Blowin' in the Wind hitmaker had planned to take his Never Ending Tour to Beijing, Shanghai, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong this month.
But officials in the Chinese government reportedly refused to grant the folk star permission to play gigs in Shanghai and Beijing, so Dylan scrapped the rest of his planned Asian dates.
The decision to stop the musician playing in China reportedly came amid fears over Dylan's politically charged lyrics - Chinese authorities are notoriously careful when vetting overseas artists, a practise which has been stepped up since Icelandic singer Bjork made an onstage protest about the Chinese occupation of Tibet at a concert in 2008.
Jeffrey Wu, of Taiwan-based promotion company Brokers Brothers Herald, says, "China's Ministry of Culture did not give us permission to stage concerts in Beijing and Shanghai, so we had no alternative but to scrap plans for a Southeast Asian tour. The chance to play in China was the main attraction for him. When that fell through everything else was called off. What Björk did definitely made life very difficult for other performers. They are very wary of what will be said by performers on stage now."
Last year British rockers Oasis were denied permission to play in China after it was discovered that guitarist Noel Gallagher had appeared at a Tibet freedom concert 12 years earlier.
Bob Dylan Gallery