Patti Austin Cancels Beijing

Though the promoter didn’t reveal the cause, Chinese jazz fans blamed Beijing’s infamous air pollution for Patti Austin‘s canceled show in the Chinese capital Oct. 19.

Photo: AP Photo / Kyodo News
Smog is even worse in the northern Chinese city of Harbin, seen here Oct. 21. 

The 63-year-old American singer came to China to perform in two BMW Master Hall concerts, one in Beijing and the other in Shanghai.

Apparently, Austin had recovered sufficiently on Saturday to sing at the Shanghai gig as part of the JZ Festival, China’s biggest jazz festival.

According to the Global Times, Austin was plagued by a “persistent cough” the morning of Oct. 19 and was taken to the emergency room of the Peking Union Medical College Hospital, where she was found to be suffering from a severe ashtma attack and a respiratory infection.

The organizer said it was the first time Austin had canceled a show due to a health issue.

The announcement gave rise to a flurry of Tweets blaming the city’s bad air, whose PM2.5 count has soared in recent weeks, making breathing without a mask very difficult.

Parts of northeastern China have been all but shut down by smog.

Austin was named Honorary Artistic Advisor of the BMW Master Hall series Oct. 17 in a ceremony in Beijing.