China rocker bucks censors, quits gala

AP

A Chinese rocker known for his rebellious style will not perform at a state broadcaster’s variety show for the upcoming Lunar New Year after he refused a request by the organizers to sing a different song than the one he had chosen to sing, his manager said.

Cui Jian had proposed to sing his 1986 song “Nothing to My Name” at China Central Television’s Jan. 30 gala show, but the event’s censors told him he would have to choose another song, his manager, You You, said late Friday. “Nothing to My Name” became the unofficial anthem for demonstrating students during the deadly 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

Cui decided to quit the show instead of singing a different song, You You said.

“It is not only our regret, but also the gala’s,” the manager said. “Cui Jian has his fans all over the world, so his stage is far beyond the CCTV’s gala.”

Many members of the Chinese public praised Cui, 52, for refusing to kowtow to China’s censors.

“You are still so proud,” Mongolian singer Daiqing Tana, of the Beijing-based group Haya Band, wrote on her microblog.