Fear of Mueller probe leads Russian pop star linked to Trump family to cancel tour

Emin Agalarov, the Russian pop star who is said to have helped arrange Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer at Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign, said Monday he has been forced to cancel his tour of the United States and Canada "due to circumstances beyond [his] control."

In a video on Facebook, Agalarov claimed he had nixed the upcoming tour "against his will." The exact circumstances around the cancellation were not immediately clear. He had been scheduled to perform in New York on Saturday night.

Agalarov is seen as a figure in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian election interference. Agalarov's lawyer told NBC News last July that his talks with Mueller's team were "ongoing," but NBC News reporting at the time indicated that the singer had not been officially interviewed.

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MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JUNE 12, 2016: Singer Emin Agalarov performs in a concert in Red Square celebrating the Day of Russia. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - NOVEMBER 09: Donald Trump, Aras Agalarov and Emin Agalarov attend the red carpet at Miss Universe Pageant Competition 2013 on November 9, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Victor Boyko/Getty Images)
In this photo taken on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, Vice President of Crocus Group Emin Agalarov, left, Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler, from Venezuela, center, and Donald Trump, of the United States attend the final of the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, Russia. The emails published by Donald Trump Jr. show publicist Rob Goldstone telling Trump that singer Emin Agalarov and his father, developer Aras Agalarov, had "helped along" the Russian government's support for Trump. In his email, Goldstone said that the "Crown prosecutor of Russia" offered to provide the information on Clinton to the Trump campaign in a meeting with Aras Agalarov.(Irina Bujor/Kommersant Photo via AP) RUSSIA OUT
MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA DECEMBER 24, 2018: Singer Emin Agalarov performs for the Miss Moscow 2018 beauty pageant at the Vegas City Hall. Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS (Photo by Vyacheslav Prokofyev\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - NOVEMBER 09: Emin Agalarov, Donald Trump and Aras Agalarov attend the red carpet at Miss Universe Pageant Competition 2013 on November 9, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Victor Boyko/Getty Images)
MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA DECEMBER 24, 2018: Singer Emin Agalarov performs for the Miss Moscow 2018 beauty pageant at the Vegas City Hall. Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS (Photo by Vyacheslav Prokofyev\TASS via Getty Images)
From left, Russian singer Emin Agalarov and his father Aras Agalarov arrive at the Miss USA 2013 pageant, Sunday, June 16, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jeff Bottari)
Russian singer Emin Agalarov (C) speaks as his father Aras Agalarov and Donald Trump (L), co-owner of the Miss Universe Organization, look on during a news conference after the 2013 Miss USA pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 16, 2013. Trump announced that the 2013 Miss Universe pageant will be held November 9 at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow. REUTERS/Steve Marcus (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
From left, Miss Connecticut USA Erin Brady and Donald Trump look on as Russian singer Emin Agalarov speaks onstage with his father Aras Agalarov during a news conference after Brady won the Miss USA 2013 pageant, Sunday, June 16, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jeff Bottari)
MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 10, 2018: Singer Emin Agalarov (C) performs in his solo concert at the Crocus City Hall Concert Hall in Krasnogorsk, Moscow Region. Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS (Photo by Vyacheslav Prokofyev\TASS via Getty Images)
From left, Donald Trump, Aras Agalarov, Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo and Russian singer Emin Agalarov arrive at the Miss USA 2013 pageant, Sunday, June 16, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jeff Bottari)
Russian real estate developer Aras Agalarov (L) applauds with his son, singer Emin Agalarov, during a news conference following the 2013 Miss USA pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 16, 2013. Picture taken June 16, 2013. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 10, 2018: Singer Emin Agalarov (R) performs in a concert at the Crocus City Hall Concert Hall in Krasnogorsk, Moscow Region. Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS (Photo by Vyacheslav Prokofyev\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 10, 2018: Singer Emin Agalarov performs in his solo concert at the Crocus City Hall Concert Hall in Krasnogorsk, Moscow Region. Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS (Photo by Vyacheslav Prokofyev\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 10, 2018: Singer Emin Agalarov performs in a concert at the Crocus City Hall Concert Hall in Krasnogorsk, Moscow Region. Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS (Photo by Vyacheslav Prokofyev\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 10, 2018: Singer Emin Agalarov performs in his solo concert at the Crocus City Hall Concert Hall in Krasnogorsk, Moscow Region. Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS (Photo by Vyacheslav Prokofyev\TASS via Getty Images)
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Agalarov's lawyer, Scott Balber, claimed in a phone interview Monday that the cancellation is "most definitely" linked to the Russia probe.

"It has nothing to do with any substance," Balber said, adding that his client was "happy" to speak to Mueller's team and various congressional committees on a voluntary basis but the parties involved had not yet agreed on the "parameters" of that testimony.

"He could come and do the concert but we don't want him to be subpoenaed or held under a material witness warrant or anything else," Balber added.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr., told NBC News in 2017 that Agalarov was key in setting up the face-to-face conversation. She claimed at the time that she had never met Agalarov, who is the son of Azerbaijani-Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov.

The Agalarovs were in talks with Trump about a real estate deal in Moscow that would include a Trump Tower, but according to a person familiar with the deal, it never materialized. This deal was separate from the Trump Tower Moscow deal pursued by Michael Cohen and Trump associate Felix Sater. Prosecutors allege the latter deal was pursued through June 2016, contrary to Michael Cohen's testimony to Congress. The potential deal with the Agalarovs is drawing new scrutiny from Congressional investigators.

Agalarov seemed to wink at his place in President Donald Trump's orbit in a music video released last June for a track titled "Got Me Good." In the video, Agalarov sings in English alongside lookalikes of Trump, adult film performer Stormy Daniels and Hillary Clinton.

The real Trump previously appeared in another Agalarov music video when the Miss Universe pageant was held in Moscow in 2013. Trump, who owned the pageant at the time, pretended to fire the singer as if he were a contestant on "The Apprentice."

A spokesperson for the special counsel's office declined comment.

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