Canadian pop star Justin Bieber has announced the cancellation of the remaining dates on his Justice world tour due to ongoing health issues related to Ramsay Hunt syndrome (RHS), which he has been recovering from since June.
RHS causes facial palsy, or facial paralysis, and is the result of viral reactivation. Bieber had previously postponed shows in September to prioritize his health, after initially announcing his return to touring in July.
A statement on the tour’s official Twitter page read, “Due to unforeseen circumstances, Justin Bieber will be cancelling the remainder of the Purpose World Tour concerts.” The cancelled dates include performances in the US, Australia and Europe.
The tour had previously generated over $65m in revenue, though fans have expressed their disappointment online that they have yet to receive previously promised refunds.
In a statement last year, Bieber had explained that his RHS diagnosis had resulted in complete paralysis of the right side of his face.
He had also described how touring had taken a toll on his health, leading him to need more rest and time to recover. He had undergone treatment, which included facial rehabilitation, steroids and antiviral medication.
RHS is a complication of the shingles virus, which can occur in individuals who have previously had chickenpox as children. The NHS outlines possible symptoms of RHS to include facial weakness, blisters in the ears and on the roof of the mouth. Treatment may include facial rehabilitation, steroids and antiviral medication.
Despite the disappointment among fans at the cancellations, many have expressed their support for Bieber and his decision to prioritize his health.
One fan tweeted, “Health always comes first, take all the time you need,” while another wrote, “Take your time and don’t rush your recovery.”
Bieber had previously opened up about the importance of prioritizing his mental health, and has been an advocate for mental health awareness. In an interview with Vogue last year, he had spoken candidly about his experiences with depression, anxiety and substance abuse.
It remains to be seen when Bieber will be able to resume his touring schedule. However, his decision to prioritize his health has been praised by many, who hope to see him return to performing when he is ready.