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Lorde Explains Why She Decided To Cancel Her ‘Insanely Amazing’ Performance At The 2021 VMAs

This Sunday, the 2021 MTV VMAs will take over the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for their first in-person awards show in two years. The night will feature a stacked performance lineup, with sets by today’s top stars like Justin Bieber, Doja Cat (who will be hosting the event), Lil Nas X, and Olivia Rodrigo. Lorde was originally confirmed to give a rendition of one of her Solar Power tracks, but ended up pulling out of the opportunity at the last minute. Now, the singer has given fans an explanation for why they shouldn’t expect to see her take the stage.

In a newsletter sent to fans Thursday, Lorde said she had an “insanely amazing” performance planned. But due to the pandemic’s safety guidelines, the singer wouldn’t be able to share her vision the way she intended it:

“I saw some people were very concerned about me pulling out of the VMAs, you’re so sweet, I’m totally fine! It’s just that we were planning this insanely amazing many-bodied intimate dance performance, not fully understanding the (very necessary!) safety protocols that are in place, and the masking and distancing just meant it wasn’t gonna be what I dreamed, and you know I can’t make something less than outstanding for you guys. I hope you understand. There will be many more TV performances, don’t you worry.”

This isn’t the first time Lorde had to shift her plans around a VMAs performance. In 2017, Lorde was slated to give a rendition of her Melodrama track “Homemade Dynamite,” but she ended up getting so sick that she instead gave an interpretive dance of the song. “You can’t tell in these pictures, but I have the flu so bad I needed an IV,” she tweeted before taking the stage.

The 2021 VMAs airs 9/12 at 8 p.m. ET. Watch it here.

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