His decision comes just weeks before the festival, leaving them in a bind to fill the slot.
Kanye West has removed himself as a headliner from the fast-approaching Coachella festival, a source has confirmed to Variety. The news was first reported by TMZ, which also reported that Travis Scott was supposed to be joining Ye for his performance. Scott’s original headlining slot in 2020 was canceled due to the pandemic, and he was nearly set as a headliner for the 2022 festival, but that was canceled as well after the tragedy at Astroworld.
It’s unclear exactly why Ye is canceling, as he has not released a statement or responded to requests for comment — but it’s not hard to make conjectures about the decision. Over the last couple of months, the artist has displayed disturbing behavior by dramatically and publicly harassing his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend, comic Pete Davidson, in his songs and his social media. Ye has gone so far as to put out two music videos for his collaboration with The Game, “Eazy,” in which Davidson is physically harmed, with one depicting the SNL star being buried alive and beheaded. It has not helped that when others in the public eye have criticized Ye’s actions, he’s doubled down on harassment of them as well. He recently resorted to calling Trevor Noah a racial slur on Instagram, which got him suspended from the platform for 24 hours.
The decision to cancel on Coachella comes just weeks after the Grammys pulled Ye as a performer from their telecast for “concerning online behavior.” He had also previously threatened to pull out of the concert unless fellow headliner Billie Eilish apologized to Travis Scott for what Ye perceived as a dig at Scott when she stopped a show to get a fan an inhaler (Eilish rebuffed the accusation). Ye has been quiet on his social media since being reinstated, and has not been seen in public since his March 27 attendance of his son Saint’s soccer game, per TMZ. Hopefully, Ye’s silence is a positive sign that he’s getting the help he needs. Coachella has not released a statement yet on the cancellation, or their plans to fill the slot.