(Reuters) – The US alternative rock band The Killers have apologized for bringing a Russian drummer on stage during a show in Georgia and calling the fans “brothers and sisters”, prompting boos from the audience.
Georgia has a long history of tension with its northern neighbor, exacerbated by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and the subsequent large influx of Russian migrants fleeing their country.
The group, which has been nominated for seven Grammy awards for the music industry, performed on Tuesday in the Black Sea resort of Batumi during a European tour.
“Good people of Georgia, it was never our intention to offend anyone!” The band said in a statement on their Facebook page, adding that they have a long-standing tradition of inviting people to play the drums.
She added, “We realize that the intended comment that all slayers fans and fans are ‘brothers and sisters’, could be misunderstood.”
The reference was to division commander Brandon Flowers’ remark to the crowd, saying he did not want the situation to turn “angry”.
“See you brothers and sisters,” Flowers added to the sounds of boos and whistles in a video released by the Russian news agency (RIA).
Social media videos showed people leaving the show, as well as boos.
Georgian public opinion is overwhelmingly supportive of Ukraine.
The band has sold millions of albums, and many songs have topped the charts since its inception in Las Vegas in the early 2000s.
(This story has been paraphrased to correct the spelling of “Georgia” in Paragraph 1)
(Reporting by Lydia Kelly in Warsaw) Editing by Clarence Fernandez
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