ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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Bidens drop B-52s rock band from White House dinner due to ‘sorrow’ over Israel war

US First lady Jill Biden speaks during a media preview, October 24, 2023, in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
US First lady Jill Biden speaks during a media preview, October 24, 2023, in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Iconic rock band the B-52s will no longer perform at a White House dinner for Australia’s premier due to the “sorrow” of the Israel-Hamas conflict, US First Lady Jill Biden says.

The band, best known for the 1989 hit “Love Shack,” was scheduled to play at the state dinner for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Wednesday hosted by President Joe Biden.

“While we had initially planned for the legendary B-52s to perform their iconic dance and party music, we are now in a time when so many are facing sorrow and pain, and we have decided to make adjustments to the entertainment portion of the evening,” Jill Biden tells reporters.

The New Wave band, named after a US bomber aircraft but more famous for their beehive hairdos, will still attend the state dinner but as guests, she adds.

Presidential military bands will provide “instrumental music” instead.

Jill Biden made the announcement during a preview for the dinner, which will feature a guest chef, dishes including sarsaparilla-braised short ribs and design featuring US and Australian elements.

Albanese arrived at the White House on Tuesday ahead of a formal state visit on Wednesday when he is expected to discuss topics including China, Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war.

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