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Musician makes stand for politically charged song

| Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, 9:06 p.m.

BEIJING — A legendary Chinese rocker has refused to perform at a state broadcaster's variety show since being denied permission to sing a song that became an unofficial anthem of the 1989 pro-democracy protests, his manager said.

Cui Jian had proposed to sing his 1986 song “Nothing to My Name” at China Central Television's Jan. 30 gala show marking the Lunar New Year, but the event's censors told him that he would have to choose another, his manager, You You, said late Friday.

Cui decided to quit the show rather than sing a different song, You You said.

Cui sang “Nothing to My Name” at Tiananmen Square for students on a hunger strike in 1989, days before the government sent in tanks and troops to crack down on the demonstrations.

Later, Communist authorities denied him permission for concerts and censored his lyrics. In 2005, he was allowed to headline at a Beijing stadium, and the following year he performed with the Rolling Stones in Shanghai, singing “Wild Horses” alongside Mick Jagger.

Many members of the Chinese public praised Cui, 52, for refusing to kowtow to China's censors.

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