Monday, 31 August 2009

NEWS FLASH: Buju Banton US shows cancelled after gay protests

UNDER FIRE: Gay protests lead to cancellation of Banton concerts

Here we go again. The concert promoters Live Nation and AEG have cancelled shows by reggae and dancehall artiste Buju Banton, whose violent homophobic lyrics have drawn fresh protests from gay rights advocacy groups in the US, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Since the release of his 1992 single “Boom Boom Bye”, Banton has been caught up in a backlash orchestrated by international gay rights organizations. Just last week, a campaign by the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Centre led to hundreds of calls and e-mail messages to promoters Live Nation and AEG to have several of Banton’s upcoming US shows cancelled.

Consequently, shows in Philadelphia (September 12), Chicago (October 1), San Francisco (October 10), Los Angeles (October 14), Las Vegas (October 15), Dallas (October 20) and Houston (October 22) have been cancelled.

In 2004, Banton was tried and acquitted on charges that he participated in the beating of six gay men in Jamaica. Three years later, the artiste signed a “reggae compassionate act”, saying that he would not make homophobic statements in public, release new homophobic songs nor authorize the re-release of previous homophobic songs.

Banton’s latest album,
Rasta Got Soul, was released in April.

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