The pair is exiting the lineup for this year’s socially distanced Aug. 30 ceremony, which will take place in various locations across New York City as well as a soundstage in Los Angeles, EW can confirm.
“Unfortunately, J Balvin and Roddy Ricch are no longer performing,” a source close to the award show told Variety. “As with every awards show, there are always last-minute talent changes. That said, this year has more logistical hurdles than most and the health and safety of our employees and partners is of the utmost importance.”
The Southern California rapper addressed his departure via Instagram Story on Friday.
“Unfortunately, I won’t be performing at this year’s VMAs as announced,” Ricch wrote. “My team and I did everything in our power to make this work, due to COVID compliance issues at the last minute we had to call off the performance. My team and I are safe and everyone’s health is a main priority, as well as giving a quality performance. I appreciate MTV for the opportunity to perform and I hope I can see ya’ll next year.”
“At this moment, I’m just getting better from COVID-19. These have been very difficult days, very complicated. Sometimes we won’t think that we’ll get it, but I got it and I got it bad,” said Balvin in Spanish, speaking in a recorded message from Colombia, Billboard reported earlier this month.
Balvin racked up four MTV VMA nominations, including Best Collaboration for his feature on the Black Eyed Peas song “Ritmo (Bad Boys for Life),” and three nominations under the Best Latin category: “Amarillo,” from his latest album Colores, “Que Pena,” his collaboration with Maluma, and “China,” alongside Anuel AA, Ozuna, Karol G, and Daddy Yankee.
Ricch was nominated for three Moonmen statues including PUSH Best New Artist, Song of the Year for “The Box” from his album Excuse Me For Being Antisocial, and Best Hip Hop video, also for “The Box.”
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