Kanye West has pulled out of a planned performance at a virtual Easter service this weekend.

The 42-year-old rapper - who holds his own Sunday Services in Los Angeles - had agreed to participate in 57-year-old televangelist Joel Osteen's broadcast to celebrate the Christian festival but he has now bowed out over safety concerns.

TMZ reports that Kanye and his choir of over 100 members had planned to wear masks and maintain social distancing but ''Kanye decided it just didn't feel safe enough for everyone involved, and he couldn't carry out his vision, so he decided to pull the plug''.

However, Mariah Carey is still tipped to perform 'Hero', while Tyler Perry will speak.

Osteen's non-denominational church regularly livestream's services to millions of followers, and this weekend the Lakewood website has confirmed broadcasts for 7pm on Saturday (11.04.20) and 8.30am and 11am on Sunday (12.04.20).

A message on the church's website reads: ''This is a great OPPORTUNITY to bring the message of hope to our neighbors, friends, and family.

''We want to encourage you to invite, share and re-post with as many people as possible.

''People are needing the hope we have in Jesus more than ever before. (sic)''

Late last year, it was reported the Joel and Kanye had struck up a friendship, with Kanye keen to work with Joel in the future.

An insider said at the time: ''[Kanye] is very interested in going and spending more time with Joel.

''They are friends. They message each other a lot. They have deep conversations...

''He wants to learn how other churches do things. He wants to spend time with other Christian leaders. He's open for tips and guidance. This is all very important to Ye.''

Meanwhile, Joel has been open about his friendship with the 'Jesus Is King' hitmaker.

He explained: ''It just felt right to me because ... I'm a believer in people, and I found him to be very genuine and just a fantastic person.''