Beijing (Associated Press) — A legendary Chinese rocker has refused to perform at a state broadcaster’s variety show after being denied permission to sing a song that became an unofficial anthem of the 1989 pro-democracy protests, his manager said.

Cui Jian had proposed to sing his 1986 song “Nothing to My Name” at China Central Television’s Jan​uary​ 30 gala show marking the Lunar New Year, but the event’s censors told him he would have to choose another, his manager, You You said.

​Cui decided to quit the show instead of singing a different song, You You said.

Cui sang “Nothing to My Name” at Tiananmen Square for students on a hunger strike in 1989, days before the government sent in tanks and troops to crack down on the demonstrations.

Later, Communist authorities denied him permission for concerts and censored his lyrics. In 2005, he was allowed to headline at a Beijing stadium, and the following year he performed with the Rolling Stones in Shanghai, singing “Wild Horses” alongside Mick Jagger.

“It is not only our regret, but also the gala’s,” the manager said. “Cui Jian has his fans all over the world, so his stage is far beyond the CCTV’s gala.”

The state broadcaster could not be reached for comment Saturday.