Rapper Snoop Dogg has been granted a visa to enter Australia for a concert tour, the immigration department announced today (Sept. 12) after finishing a full character assessment of the entertainer.

Rapper Snoop Dogg has been granted a visa to enter Australia for a concert tour, the immigration department announced today (Sept. 12) after finishing a full character assessment of the entertainer.

The department had earlier expressed concern about Snoop Dogg's criminal record but took into account the fact that he had traveled to Australia three times without incident.

"In making this decision, the department weighed his criminal convictions against his previous behavior while in Australia, recent conduct -- including charity work -- and any likely risk to the Australian community," the immigration department said in a statement. We took into account all relevant factors and, on balance, the department decided to grant the visa."

It said the rapper, whose birth name is Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr., has committed to doing charity work with at-risk youth during his visit to Australia.

Snoop Dogg's Australian tour with Ice Cube and Thugs-N-Harmony is due to kick off in October. The rapper visited Australia in 1998, 2006 and early 2007 without incident. He withdrew a visa application last May after failing to pass the character requirements one month after pleading no contest to gun and drug charges in the United States.

In other hip-hop legal news, DMX is now in custody in a Phoenix jail on theft charges, Maricopa County Sheriff's officials said. DMX (real name: Earl Simmons) was extradited Wednesday from Miami, where he had pleaded guilty to drug charges and was sentenced to time served.

Simmons is being held on a $25,000 cash bond. He was arrested on a fugitive warrant for failing to appear in Maricopa County Superior Court.

DMX still faces several animal cruelty and drug possession counts.


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