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Complaints Cancel Buju Banton Concert

The Associated Press
Friday, September 22, 2006; 10:37 AM

LOS ANGELES -- A nightclub has canceled a performance by Buju Banton, a reggae star whose violent lyrics about gays and lesbians have made him a controversial figure, after receiving complaints from patrons.

E-mail messages and phone calls from concerned customers prompted the cancellation of the Oct. 2 show, said Adam Manacker, general manager of the Highland nightclub and restaurant.

"We felt it was the right thing to do after doing some research on the matter," Manacker said.

Full refunds will be given.

In July, concerts featuring Banton and Beenie Man were canceled in Britain after activists said both artists refused to stop using anti-gay lyrics. Two of Banton's songs released early in his career, "Batty Rider" and "Boom Bye Bye," glorify the shooting of gay men.

Banton's most recent album, "Too Bad," released earlier this month, omits homophobic lyrics.

The husky-voiced Banton has been a major star in his native Jamaica since the early 1990s with brash dancehall music and, more recently, a traditional reggae sound. His career has been stunted in the United States because of his attitude toward gays.

Banton was tried and acquitted on charges that he participated in the beating of six gay men by a Jamaica gang in 2004.

© 2006 The Associated Press