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James Taylor cancels tour because of pandemic

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James Taylor is the latest popular artist to cancel a tour because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

His upcoming coast-to-coast Canadian tour with Bonnie Raitt that included performances in 12 cities from Victoria B.C. to St. John's, Newfoundland, from April 14 to May 5 is postponed.

"I hope we can rescheduled it for the not-too-distant future," he said in an online announcement.

"We were so looking forward to the tour, it breaks my heart to call it off," said Taylor, who lives in the Berkshire town of Washington. "But that's what we must do. All the medical information suggests that small and large gatherings may well put people at risk. That is the last thing we would ever want to do."

Ticket-holders will get information on refund procedures, he added.

Among numerous other performers who have canceled or postponed tours because of the virus were Elton John, Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, Wilco, Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire, Ringo Starr and The Who.

Taylor's 28-city U.S. tour that includes his annual Tanglewood show on July 4 is still scheduled, but that performance is completely sold out.

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His new studio album, "American Standard," entered the all-genre Billboard 200 Albums chart last week, debuting at No. 4 on the chart. He is the first performer with top 10 albums in each of the last six decades, beginning in the 1970s, with a total of 13 top 10 releases from his first, "Sweet Baby James" in 1970 through "Before This World" in 2015, his most recent release before his latest.

The recording of pop and musical theater classics scored 81,000 albums sold, boosted by a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer, making it the top-selling album of the week. It came in No. 4 overall because of minimal streaming units tallied, compared to three other acts.

Released by Fantasy Records/Concord, "American Standard" also ranked No. 1 on Billboard's Top Rock Albums and Top Americana/Folk Albums charts.

The only artists to achieve top-10 albums in five decades (1970s through 2010s) are Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Bette Midler, Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones, Santana, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand and Van Halen. From that elite group, The Rolling Stones, Santana and Streisand have scored top 10s in the 1960s through 2010s.

Taylor's recently released Audible Original musical and spoken-word retrospective, "Break Shot: My First 21 Years," is ranked the No. 1 Audible Books and Originals best seller, according to Amazon, the parent company of Audible.

Taylor's U.S. tour is slated to begin May 15 in New Orleans, with stops in Houston, Fort Worth, Salt Lake City, Boise, Idaho, Tacoma, Wash., Portland, Ore., San Francisco, Anaheim, Calif., San Diego, Chicago, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Detroit, Dayton, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Hershey, Pa., Bethel, N.Y., Fenway Park in Boston, Roanoke, Va., Charleston, W.Va., Louisville, Memphis, Atlanta, Nashville, Holmdel, N.J., Wantagh, N.Y., and Camden, N.J., the final stop on July 10.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.

This story has been updated.


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