American entertainer Chris Brown has added Saint John to his summer tour, despite a backlash in other Canadian cities where he plans to perform.
Brown will headline the Hot Summer Blast Festival at Saint John's Harbour Station on Sept. 1, Drop Entertainment Group announced on Wednesday.
News of the upcoming performance by the R&B singer, who pleaded guilty in 2009 to assaulting fellow singer and then-girlfriend Rihanna, quickly spread throughout the province via social media.
Kurt Peacock tweeted: "Chris Brown is ready to perform in my city. If you don't have strong opinions on this, consider this image of his ex," which showed Rihanna after the assault by Brown.
"Let's write letters, start hashtags, whatever," tweeted Peacock. "He may end up here in the end, but let us at least #tellmel [Saint John Mayor Mel Norton] to say #noteambreezy," referring to Brown's supporters, known as TeamBreezy.
Natalie Webber posted on Facebook: "Canadians should send him a clear message. Don't buy tickets!"
But Rosella Melanson, the former executive director of the now-defunct New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women, tweeted: "Given NB's docility re women's status & our current standing as worst prov re familal murder suicides, I expect little reaction."
The census metropolitan area of Saint John had the highest rates of police-reported family violence for the past two years, according to Statistics Canada.
Petition in Dartmouth
Brown also has shows slated for Dartmouth, Winnipeg and Toronto.
In the Dartmouth area, more than 12,000 have signed a petition to stop Brown's Aug. 31 concert at Alderny Landing. The petition urges the promoter to drop Brown, who is facing a hit-and-run trial next month in connection with an alleged incident in May.
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage has also voiced disapproval of the singer and four corporate sponsors withdrew their support for the show once Brown was confirmed as the headliner.
Meanwhile, in Winnipeg, a woman has announced she will protest Brown's Aug. 29 concert at the MTS Centre by staging a rival event: a fundraiser for domestic violence victims.
Last November, organizers were forced to cancel a stadium concert in Georgetown, Guyana, after local protests. Women's rights groups and others said Brown was not welcome in the country.
Brown subsequently backed out of the concert, citing discomfort with the protests.
In 2009, Brown hit, choked and bit Rihanna during an argument in Los Angeles.
Tickets to the Saint John show, which range in price between $85 and $175.50, go on sale on Friday.