Why Kanye West Is Skipping the Met Gala: 'He Just Wants to Take More Time Off'
West – who had a breakdown late last year – is "doing okay" despite deciding to skip the annual event, the source says
Kanye West is putting his personal wellness first on one of fashion’s biggest nights.
The rapper is not attending the 2017 Met Gala with wife Kim Kardashian West because he’s not ready to return to the red carpet following his late 2016 breakdown and hospitalization, a source tells PEOPLE.
“He’s not going because he’s not ready to start attending big events,” says the source. “He’s doing great but wants to keep his stress levels low and just wants to take more time off. Kim and Kanye are in a great place.”
An additional source clarified to PEOPLE: “It had nothing to do with the Met Gala. It was more about the stress and pressure of a big red carpet. He just wasn’t quite there yet.”
Still, the insider says, “Kanye has been doing okay. He’s made a lot of good progress and is in a much better place.”
Another source also told PEOPLE that West, 39, wouldn’t be walking up the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s famed stairs on Monday, explaining, “He’s still very much enjoying his time off from public events.”
The source added, “He’ll be staying back in L.A. with their kids [North and Saint]. Everything is great with him and Kim and he’s supportive of her going solo.”
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Kardashian West, 36, made her Met Gala debut in 2013 with West, and they have attended together ever since.
In March, another insider told PEOPLE the couple is enjoying their reduced time in the spotlight after stepping back following West’s hospitalization for exhaustion and Kardashian West’s Paris robbery.
“[They’re] much more low-key and not in the spotlight like before,” the source said. “They both feel like they are better people and that it has changed their family for the better. They don’t have any desire to go back to how things were.”