Veteran US pop outfit The B-52s will not perform at a White House dinner for the Australian prime minister, Anthony Albanese, due to the “sorrow” of the Israel-Hamas conflict, the First Lady, Jill Biden has confirmed.
The band, best known for the 1989 smas Love Shack, was scheduled to play at the state dinner on Wednesday hosted by US president, Joe Biden.
The New Wave band, formed in 1976 named after a US bomber aircraft, will still attend the state dinner but as guests, Madam First Lady Biden added.
Jill Biden told reporters: “While we had initially planned for the legendary B-52s to perform their iconic dance and party music, we are now in a time when so many are facing sorrow and pain, and we have decided to make adjustments to the entertainment portion of the evening.”
Presidential military bands would provide “instrumental music” instead.
Jill Biden made the announcement during a preview for the dinner, which will feature a guest chef, dishes including sarsaparilla-braised short ribs and design featuring US and Australian elements.
Albanese arrived at the White House on Tuesday ahead of a formal state visit on Wednesday, when he is expected to discuss topics including China, Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war.