The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was scheduled to perform during Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest airing Friday on ABC set in Times Square as part of a scaled-down event due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the spread of the omicron variant
“I know it’s disappointing to the millions of fans but my test came back positive for COVID, which means I’ll no longer be able to perform as scheduled at NYRE,” LL said in a statement.
“We were ready and I was really looking forward to ringing in 2022 in my hometown in a special way, but for now I wish everyone a healthy and happy New Year. The best is yet to come!” he added.
In addition to LL’s withdrawal, R&B singer Chloe Bailey has also canceled her appearance at ABC’s Times Square event.
Last week, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to reduce the number of attendees at the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration due to the city’s increasing COVID cases. Only about 15,000 people will be allowed to attend the event.
“New Yorkers have stepped up tremendously over the past year—we are leading the way on vaccinations, we have reopened safely, and every day we work toward building a recovery for all of us,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.“ There is a lot to celebrate and these additional safety measures will keep the fully vaccinated crowd safe and healthy as we ring in the New Year.”