Bruce Springsteen performs during The River Tour. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Rock star Bruce Springsteen on Friday canceled a concert scheduled for this weekend in North Carolina to protest a new state law restricting bathroom use by transgender individuals, as country music stars decried similar legislation proposed in Tennessee.

Springsteen said in an online statement that the North Carolina law was "an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress."

Tickets for the concert that was to be presented on Sunday in Greensboro, North Carolina, would be refunded, according to Springsteen's website.

The North Carolina law has drawn criticism from celebrities and business leaders. PayPal Holdings Inc <PYPL.O> cited the discriminatory nature of the law when it canceled on Tuesday a new operations center that was to employ 400 workers in Charlotte.


On Friday, country music stars Miley Cyrus, Emmylou Harris, Ty Herndon and Chely Wright joined those opposing the proposed bathroom bill in Tennessee.

Executives from Country Music Television called on Tennessee legislators to defeat the measure.

(Reporting by Letitia Stein in Tampa, Florida, and Karen Brooks in Fort Worth, Texas; Editing by Toni Reinhold)

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