According to website setlist.fm, the rapper’s performance at the Manchester Arena did not include “Don’t Matter to Me,” a track from his “Scorpion” album that has him singing alongside vocals recorded by Jackson in 1983 in a session with Paul Anka.
Drake had previously performed the song in concert in the U.S. – for example, in Atlanta last November. The U.K. and U.S. shows had the same opening and closing numbers but omitted the Jackson-sampling song.
No explanation was given for the omission in Manchester, where Drake is scheduled to perform a second concert Monday night. But it comes in the wake of the controversy over “Leaving Neverland,” the explosive documentary alleging Jackson’s repeated sexual abuse of two boys he had befriended.
The two-part documentary was shown on British television last week. Jackson’s family took to local media and fans took to the streets to protest the airing of the documentary, which delivered strong viewing numbers for free-to-air network Channel 4.
It remains to be seen whether Drake reinstates “Don’t Matter to Me” in any future concerts on his “Assassination Vacation” tour in Europe. The show runs through April and includes stops in Antwerp, Amsterdam, London, and Paris.
Drake landed the Grammy for best rap song for “God’s Plan” earlier this year.