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Live Nation Cancels Antigay Artist

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Concert promoter Live Nation cancelled a series of upcoming shows by Jamaican dancehall star Buju Banton (pictured) on Thursday after gay rights activists pressured the company to drop the antigay performer through an e-mail campaign, reports Change.org.

Banton was scheduled to perform in October at House of Blues venues in Chicago, Las Vegas, Dallas, and Houston, among other dates and locations. However, last week, activists began contacting the Beverly Hills-based Live Nation to express their dismay because of his violent antigay lyrics.

In songs such as "Boom, Bye Bye," from 1988, Banton calls for the torture and murder of gay men.

"If a guy comes near me," he sings, "then his skin must peel. Burn him up bad like an old tire wheel."

Live Nation announced plainly that the concerts by Banton were cancelled, and that refunds would be available to ticket holders.

Banton has long been opposed by LGBT activists because of his antigay lyrics and alleged behavior. In 2006, he was acquitted of charges that he assaulted a group of gay men in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica. In 2007, he signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, in which artists vow to refrain from singing antigay lyrics or making homophobic statements, but he later denied that he took the pledge.

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