Soon after Justin Bieber canceled the remainder of his Purpose World Tour Monday, John Mayer and Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos applauded the singer for the decision.
“When someone pulls remaining dates of a tour, it means they would have done real damage to themselves if they kept going,” Mayer tweeted. “We’ve lost so many great artists lately. I give Justin [two thumbs-up emojis] for realizing it was time to call it. You should too.”
Angelakos, who has been candid about his struggle with bipolar I disorder, retweeted Mayer’s posts, and also offered his own take on the intersection between touring and mental health.
“‘Mental health reasons’ went over REALLY well when I had to cancel shows 5 years ago (in a hospital receiving electroconvulsive therapy,” Angelakos tweeted. “Was pretty rough but then my drs and I worked out a relatively manageable balance btwn treatment and touring. Toured for over two years. <3”
The statement announcing Bieber’s tour cancellation didn’t reveal an exact reason, though it did attribute the decision to “unforeseen circumstances.” In an Instagram posted Tuesday, Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun elaborated: “On behalf of myself, Justin, and the team, we are sorry. That was never our intent. But a man’s soul and well being I truly care about came first and we must all respect and honor that.”
The mental health of musicians has been a topic of discussion lately after Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington died by suicide last week, which has inspired many to address the need for getting help and supporting each other.
In a series of tweets posted this weekend, Angelakos wrote about mental health stigma, namely in the music industry. “Until it is safer and healthier for us to be advocates, to be a writers, producers, and performers, I simply cannot continue making music,” he wrote. “History loves to repeat itself and it’s because of systems and their flaws. So, I decided to make solving this issue my priority for now.”
Later, Angelakos clarified to Pitchfork that he will continue making music but that he “cannot continue to operate in this space, this industry, due to the way that it functions and treats people that work for it or create within it. It does nothing to promote the health required in order to produce the work it sells. The risks associated with being a commercialized artist and embarking on a typical album release, like endless promotion and touring, have nearly killed me.”
Part of his focus will be on his newly founded Wishart Group, an organization providing legal, educational, and health care services to artists. “I am speaking from a very real and personal place,” he told Pitchfork in the statement. “I live this, and I watch other artists struggle with the friction between their health and their art.”
See his and Mayer’s tweets above.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).