USA: Controversial reggae star’s show called off



Controversial reggae star’s show called off

A Los Angeles nightclub has canceled a performance by reggae star Buju Banton because of his lyrics against homosexuality

E-mail complaints and concerned callers prompted Adam Manacker, the manager of the Highland Nightclub in Hollywood, USA, to research Banton’s past and cancel the singer’s show scheduled for 2 October 2006.

“We felt it was the right thing to do after doing some research on the matter,” Adam Manacker said to Los Angeles Times.

In July, concerts featuring Banton and Beenie Man were canceled in Britain after activists said both artists refused to stop using anti-gay lyrics.
Last year, Banton was tried and acquitted on charges that he participated in the beating of six gay men by a Jamaica gang in 2004. A group of men barged into a house on Carlisle Avenue in Kingston on 24 June 2004 and beat six men who they accused of being homosexuals.
Buju Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, rose to prominence almost 15 years ago with hardcore dancehall lyrics. One of his early hit singles, ‘Boom Bye Bye’, drew great criticism from gay rights groups, which claimed the song incited the murder of gay persons. Another song, ‘Batty Rider’, also glorifies the shooting of gay men.

Buju Banton is one of eight dancehall artistes who have come under pressure from gay rights lobby groups in Europe and the United States for their gay-bashing lyrics. Several of these artistes have had a number of their stage shows cancelled as a result of the pressure.

Beenie Man, for instance, is banned in venues around the world. A year ago, he issued a statement offering his “sincerest apologies” for the lyrical content in some of his songs: “It has come to my attention that certain lyrics and recordings I have made in the past may have caused distress and outrage among people whose identities and lifestyles are different from my own. While my lyrics are very personal, I do not write them with the intent of purposefully hurting or maligning others, and I offer my sincerest apologies to those who might have been offended, threatened or hurt by my songs.”
Nevertheless, according to the American newspaper Miami Herald, reporting from the Sting Miami Festival in Bicentennial Park on 25 September 2006, “Beenie Man did manage to insult homosexuals and repeatedly proclaim his own sexual prowess.”

Buju Banton – yet another of his concerts cancelled

Source: – 22 September 2006:
‘Complaints Cancel Buju Banton Concert’ – 23 September 2005:

‘Buju Banton in trouble again… Assault’

Read more about Buju Banton

Jamaica Gleaner – 8 October 2006:

‘Haunted by one song’

What can you sing?
Read more about ‘Hate Music’ and the limits to musical expression

Other articles on the debate on homophobic lyrics

Google News search on ‘homophobic’ + ‘reggae’

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