Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Kanye West cancels tours with Lady Gaga

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Giant national concert promoters Live Nation announced early Thursday evening that Chicago hip-hop superstar Kanye West has canceled his upcoming "Fame Kills" Tour with pop phenom Lady Gaga, which was to have stopped at the United Center on Jan. 16.

Live Nation noted that "refunds are available at the point of purchase" and that "tickets purchased online and via phone will be refunded automatically." But no reason for the cancellation was given.

Earlier Thursday, the Web site reported that Lady Gaga was the one who wanted out of the national jaunt. Meanwhile, several other publications are reporting that before West rushed the stage and interrupted an acceptance speech by Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards, he was filmed drinking cognac straight from the bottle, and that he may be heading to rehab.

West made the most emotional album of his career late last year after ending his engagement and suffering the death of his mother. But several musicians who are close to the star say that while he has remained prolific--last week, he had produced tracks for three of the Top 10 albums on the Billboard chart--his emotional state has been "fragile."

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A wise move on Lady Gaga's part! I wouldn't want my name in the same sentence as Kanye West. Lady Gaga is a great talent with a real future. Kanye West is the Milton Bradley of Pop Music. A real social pariah who needs to grow up, become a real man and decide on just what kind of career he wants.

@ Tom -

On the personality side, Kanye West is seriously lacking. He's a jerk (also, a gay fish, but that's a whole 'nother story). But he's not "the Milton Bradley of pop music." The problem with Milton Bradley isn't just that he's a jerk; it's that he's untalented. Bradley doesn't come through when you need him, and he treats people like crap to boot. Compare that with Kanye, who, despite the fact that he's an arrogant ass, has put out four truly classic records so far in his career.

Besides that, with due respect, I think you're absolutely crazy if you think Lady Gaga is "a great talent." She might indeed have a future (the whims of the pop-music-buying public are always a mystery to me), but I simply don't agree that she's all that talented. In pop music, talent often is secondary to image; Lady Gaga fits that bill to a T. That's a big difference from Kanye, who has a crappy image but loads of talent which is more often than not realized to brilliant success.

You're right about one thing, though: this is probably a good move for Lady Gaga. Kanye's toxic, and her career will probably be better off without that drama in her life.

I'm convinced that the whole "Imma let you finish" was if not orchestrated than at least encouraged by MTV. It's gotten them more press than they've had in years, and made their totally irrelevant VMA's seem like they actually matter. Taylor came out looking good, Beyonce came out looking good, and only Kanye is suffering. It's probably in his best interest to stay out of the limelight until America forgets about him and gets all outraged about something else equally superfluous. Kanye has always been a (talented) jackass, so I don't know why this whole incident surprises anyone.

Lady Gaga could indeed have a career ahead of her, but that has nothing to do with talent. Look at Britney.

Tom wrote:
"The problem with Milton Bradley isn't just that he's a jerk; it's that he's untalented."

Is this some kind of hipster code, or are we actually comparing Kanye West to the board game manufacturer?

@ Anonymous -

Please tell me you're joking.

No, seriously, you've got to be kidding if you think Milton Bradley is some kind of hipster jargon. Check Google before you post next time, dude.

I totally agree with your collective Kanye remarks, but if you were interested in Lady Gaga at all, you would understand that she can actually sing. Maybe you should actually watch her VMA performance before you judge her talent. She's a great singer, performer, and creative artist.

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