AceShowbiz - Rapper Vanilla Ice has backed out of plans to perform at an Independence Day party after confessing he "didn't know" how bad the coronavirus spike was in Austin, Texas.
The "Ice Ice Baby" star came under fire this week after he promoted his appearance at The Independence Day Throwback Beach Party on Friday (03Jul20) when 2,500 people were expected to pack the outdoor Emerald Point Bar & Grill to celebrate the American holiday.
The show had only been allowed to go on due to a legal loophole as the venue is technically classified as a restaurant - not a bar, enabling bosses to keep the place open at 50 per cent capacity after Texas Governor Gregg Abbott recently ordered the closure of all drinking establishments as a result of a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Local officials at the Travis County Health Department even warned people not to attend the show for their own safety, but at the time, Vanilla Ice remained defiant and refused to cancel.
"I take the coronavirus serious (sic). But we can't live in a bubble," he posted on Twitter early on Thursday.
"I think at this point we all understand the severity of it. practice social distancing and wear a mask. This is an outside venue, Fourth of July on the lake with fireworks. Plenty of room for distancing."
However, less than four hours later, Vanilla Ice announced he had changed his mind and would postpone his show due to mounting safety concerns.
In a video posted to social media, the MC said, "Basically, I'm not going. I listened to my fans, I hear all you people out there."
"I didn't know the numbers were so crazy in Austin, but we were hoping it would be a lot better by Fourth of July, 'cause we booked this concert a long time ago."
"Basically, we just wanna stay safe," he continued. "We do take it serious (sic) and we wanna make sure that everybody's safe..."
"We were just hoping for a good time... but it turned into a big focal point on me, and it's not about that, so anyway, Happy Fourth July, and hopefully, by New Year's, this corona c**p will have a cure...! All the best everybody."
More than 8,000 new cases were reported in the state on Wednesday, two months after Texas authorities began allowing some businesses and services to reopen following the initial coronavirus shutdown.