1:45pm PT by Colin Stutz
After Naming Andrew W.K. Cultural Ambassador to Bahrain, State Department Rescinds Invite
Following news last week that Andrew W.K. -- America's self-declared unofficial King of Partying -- would be visiting Manama, Bahrain, as a cultural ambassador to participate in a cultural exchange, the U.S. Department of State has rescinded its offer.
Calling it “a mistake and not appropriate,” State Department spokesman Noel Clay told Salon the program has been canceled.
Plans for Andrew W.K. to visit the Middle East country were first announced on his website, where he drew a parallel to mid-20th century's American Jazz Ambassadors, who traveled the world on government-sponsored excursions during the Cold War to promote American ideals and creativity. He was supposed to share his "music and partying" with the people of Bahrain, the blog post said, as well as visit elementary schools, the University of Bahrain, music venues and more, "all while promoting partying and world peace."
Andrew W.K. said in a statement: "This is a tremendous invitation. I'm very thankful to the Department of State for giving me the opportunity to visit a place I've never been before. And I feel very privileged and humbled by the chance to represent the United States of America and show the good people of Bahrain the power of positive partying. I can hardly wait for this adventure!"
Still, Andrew W.K.'s invitation was denounced by many human rights observers, who cited the Bahraini monarchy's history of violence toward pro-democracy demonstrators starting in 2011.
Andrew W.K., 33, is best known for the 2001 single "Party Hard," from the album I Get Wet. Since then, the musician has expanded his party brand into a roles that include television host and motivational speaker.
One Bahraini citizen, Abdul Razzaq Atto, posted on Andrew W.K.'s website following the news, "This is a dream come true for me, i live in bahrain my hole life and he is going to be the best artist to set foot on this gay loving house music island, actually the only proper party hard artist to come here and fuck you rumors about bahrain, come down to bahrain andrew w.k. we will party hard with you!! \m/"
In response to the word he was no longer invited to Bahrain, Andrew W.K. took to Twitter, writing: "I'm just blown away. After a year of planning, the US State Dept. just canceled my Middle East trip because I'm too party" and ... "PARTY TIP: Failure isn't falling down. Failure is staying down when you still have the ability to get back up."