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Springsteen Cancels North Carolina Show Over Transgender Law

FILE - Bruce Springsteen, shown performing in New York on Nov. 10, 2015, canceled a concert in North Carolina to protest a new transgender law.

Rock musician Bruce Springsteen has canceled a concert scheduled for Sunday in the U.S. state of North Carolina, citing as the reason the state's new law blocking anti-discrimination measures for transgender people.

Springsteen, a beloved U.S. performer whose concerts regularly sell out huge sports arenas, released a statement Friday on social media saying, "Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry - which is happening as I write - is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards."

Springsteen's public statement included an apology to his fans.

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The nearly sold-out concert was scheduled for the Greensboro Coliseum with more than 15,000 tickets sold. The management at the coliseum has said ticketholders will get refunds.

The Washington Post reports the venue stands to lose as much as $100,000 from the cancelation.

A member of Springsteen's E Street Band, guitarist Steven Van Zandt, called laws blocking anti-discrimination measures "an evil virus" spreading through the United States. He spoke Friday at the Barclay Center in New York at an induction ceremony for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

North Carolina legislators passed the law in March as a means to block an anti-discrimination law that was soon to go into effect in the city of Charlotte, a wealthy banking center. The law blocks transgender people from using bathrooms for the gender with which they identify.

The new law has led some entertainment ventures and businesses to reconsider locating their projects in the state. On Tuesday, the online payment service PayPal announced it had canceled a planned expansion into Charlotte because of the new law.