Miley Cyrus cancels bushfire aid show in Australia due to coronavirus warnings

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Pop star Miley Cyrus has canceled a trip to Australia for a bushfire relief concert three days ahead of the show, citing recommendations that travel be curtailed to counter the spread of the global coronavirus epidemic.

Cyrus, 27, who rose to fame with global hits like ‘Party in the USA’ and ‘Wrecking Ball’, was set to be the headline act for a concert on March 13 in Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, which the organizers have now called off.

All proceeds from the show were to go to Australian charities aiding relief efforts following a devastating bushfire season which destroyed nearly 12 million hectares (30 million acres) of bushland, killing 33 people and an estimated one billion native animals.

“I am so disappointed to not be there, but I have to do what is right to protect the health and safety of my band and crew,” Cyrus said in a message on Twitter.

Australia has reported 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, with three deaths.

Cyrus said she was following the recommendations of local, state, federal and international government authorities.

“I will still be making a donation to help the victims of the Australian bush fire,” she said, without saying how much she would donate.

World Tour, which organized the concert, said all fans will receive a full refund but encouraged donations to support WWF Australia’s wildlife and nature recovery fund and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.

While Cyrus canceled her trip, World Tour said it was going ahead with a concert on March 14 in Melbourne with British pop star Robbie Williams.

“Robbie is already on his way to Australia,” World Tour said on the ticket web site.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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