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Four charged in
Kevin Aviance gay bashing

Four charged in
Kevin Aviance gay bashing

Four youths were charged with a hate-crime assault on a gay singer who was attacked as he left a Manhattan gay bar, police said on Sunday.

Kevin Aviance, 38, who scored number 1 dance hits on the Billboard charts with "Da Da Din" and, more recently, 2003's "Alive," was attacked late Saturday and repeatedly kicked by four youths who called him "faggot." He suffered head trauma and was in stable condition in a Manhattan hospital, where he was being treated for his injuries.

Police charged four young people aged 16 to 20 with hate-crime assault and hate-crime harassment. They were being held pending arraignment, police said in a statement.

Aviance told the New York Post from his hospital bed that he was especially distraught by the assault because he had been scheduled to perform at a host of gay pride events next week in advance of the city's gay pride march on June 25. "I'm supposed to be doing all this stuff. With my jaw wired shut, what can I do?" he was quoted as saying.

Aviance, born Eric Snead in Richmond, Va., told the paper his attackers kicked him in the head a dozen times during the early morning assault in Manhattan's East Village. "They kicked me in my back, they kicked in my knees. They just kept kicking," he said.

A friend of famous singers like Janet Jackson and Madonna, Aviance has appeared on Tyra Banks's television shows and has performed at parties for Whitney Houston and Lil' Kim. (Reuters)

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