Drake, museum drop Michael Jackson

NEW YORK • Canadian rapper Drake and the National Football Museum in Manchester, Britain, have both given Michael Jackson the boot.

Last week, the museum removed a statue of the King of Pop - who died in 2009 - amid a public backlash against the singer after last week's airing in Britain of documentary Leaving Neverland, which alleges that he abused two men when they were boys.

On Sunday, Drake dropped a Jackson song from the set list at the start of his British tour - though he has not given an explanation.

According to Variety, his performance at Manchester Arena did not include Don't Matter To Me.

The track from his Scorpion (2018) album sampled Jackson's voice, which was recorded in 1983 in a session with singer Paul Anka.

Drake had performed the song in the United States leg of his global tour. His move came in the wake of reports that radio stations in Canada and New Zealand were boycotting Jackson's music, though BBC clarified that it did not play censor.

The producers of animated series The Simpsons have also pulled a 28-year-old episode featuring Jackson's voice from circulation, The New York Times reported.

But the singer's fans have been comforted by one fact - the popularity of his music seems to have holding power.

Since the start of the year, songs from his solo catalogue have been streamed 16 million to 17 million times each week in America, said Nielsen. Last week, including the period immediately after the documentary's premiere on HBO on March 3 and 4, the total was still 16,497,000 streams.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2019, with the headline 'Drake, museum drop Michael Jackson'. Subscribe