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Saturday, July 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A&E >  Pop culture

Singer Rick Springfield cancels November gig in Dominican Republic

Rick Springfield is seen at the 2018 Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on  April 26, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Springfield has canceled a tour stop in the Dominican Republic, citing health safety concerns after American tourists fell seriously ill. (Blair Raughley / Invision/Associated Press)
Rick Springfield is seen at the 2018 Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 26, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Springfield has canceled a tour stop in the Dominican Republic, citing health safety concerns after American tourists fell seriously ill. (Blair Raughley / Invision/Associated Press)
By Storm Gifford New York Daily News

Rick Springfield once sang about the “Human Touch” but now he’s taking a hands-off approach and steering clear of the Dominican Republic.

The Australian-born singer-actor has pulled out of an upcoming event in the Caribbean nation over safety fears in the wake of several American tourists developing serious illnesses – and even dying – while vacationing there.

Citing “an abundance of caution and for the peace of mind” for everyone involved, the entertainer is pulling out of his Rick Springfield & Friends show slated for Nov. 7-11 in Punta Cana.

“While this decision has not been easy, the safety and well-being of our amazing fans, band and crew will always be the most important consideration in any situation,” Springfield wrote in a Monday post of his fan website. “Sending our love and best wishes to all of our friends in the Dominican Republic.”

The Punta Cana event has been rescheduled for 2020 to Mexico’s Hard Rock Hotel Cancun.

Jose Tomas Perez, the Dominican Republic’s ambassador to the U.S., supported Sen. Chuck Schumer’s call for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to probe bootleg booze as a potential cause of the tourists’ health woes.

Springfield, 69, has scored four Top 10 songs during his four-decade career, including “Don’t Talk to Strangers” and “Affair of the Heart,” but became an international sensation in 1981 with the release of his lone No. 1 hit “Jessie’s Girl.” He also established himself as a Hollywood heartthrob portraying playboy Dr. Noah Drake on “General Hospital.”

Springfield performed Friday in Snoqualmie, Wash., and has shows in the California cities of Costa Mesa and Lincoln next week.

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