Citing throat problems, Kanye West ditches his Forum performance early

Kanye West
Kanye West performs on a floating stageat the Forum in Inglewood on Oct. 25. West ended his Thursday performance at the Forum mid-set after complaining of throat problems.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Kanye West has a cold.

Or at least a sore throat. “My voice is so hoarse. I can’t finish the show,” the rapper told his thousands of fans just before ditching Thursday’s sixth gig at the Forum in Inglewood early.

The rapper-producer-designer, who was performing his song “Only One” from atop a floating stage that hovered over the audience, informed the crowd that he couldn’t continue. "Turn the lights up,” he said. “Show’s over. I can't let y’all have a show where I can't perform. I'm sorry." He then offered refunds.

His fans started chattering as West told his crew to return the stage to its base. Standing atop the platform as his baffled disciples looked on, he then floated silently and awkwardly back toward his exit point, a man alone on his perch.

Thursday’s Forum show was scheduled to be West’s last in a run that was originally slated for four nights. But as the shows sold out, West added two more. As a result, the Grammy-winning artist’s touring schedule was loaded with concerts over the past month as he rolled through Canada and then down the West Coast.

Given West’s penchant for onstage oration, such a schedule can wreak havoc on vocal cords.

The tour has seen some drama. Last month in Paris, his wife, Kim Kardashian, was robbed by masked gunmen who tied her up and stole millions of dollars in jewelry from her hotel room. It occurred as West was performing at a festival in Queens, N.Y. For obvious reasons, he halted his set to tend to his wife’s trauma. (Kardashian made one of her first post-robbery public appearances at an earlier Forum show.)

Whether fans will indeed receive a refund isn’t yet known. West’s average set during the tour has included about 35 songs, and he was about two-thirds of the way through the Thursday gig. Promoter Live Nation and West’s publicity team have not yet responded to queries regarding refunds. 

The good news for West fans waiting to see him later on the Saint Pablo tour? Thursday’s Forum set was the last one before a two-week break, which will give him time to recuperate.

There’s a lot of terrible music out there. For tips on the stuff that’s not, follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @liledit


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