Latin Conference & Awards
Jennifer Lopez Performs New Spanish-Language Single at the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Awards
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MTV Boots Beenie Man Amidst Gay Protest
Dancehall star Beenie Man, who has recorded anti-gay songs in the past, was yanked from a concert bill associated with this weekend's MTV Video Music Awards after gay groups planned a protest, the netDancehall star Beenie Man, who has recorded anti-gay songs in the past, was yanked from a concert bill associated with this weekend's MTV Video Music Awards after gay groups planned a protest, the network said.
MTV pulled the Jamaican singer from the roster yesterday (Aug. 24) after South Florida gay activists announced plans to protest Saturday's concert in Miami over some of his past lyrics, including "I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays" and "Queers must be killed."
"We don't want anything to overshadow what will be a great weekend of music events for South Floridians," an MTV spokesperson said, declining further comment.
The MTV VMAs are set for Sunday at the bayfront American Airlines Arena in Miami, the first time in the glam-filled event's 21-year history that it will take place outside New York and Los Angeles.
Beenie Man has had his concerts canceled in Europe over the last few weeks after angry gay groups protested. He was also removed from an upcoming event sponsored by WHTZ (Z100) New York, according to the New York Daily News, while a group calling itself No More Murder Music is pressuring crosstown WQHT (Hot 97) to do the same with a Sept. 3 show.
Although he has previously defended his lyrics, earlier this month Beenie Man issued an apology for his previous songs, including "Bad Man Chi Chi Man" (Bad Man, Queer Man).
"Certain lyrics and recordings I have made in the past may have caused distress and outrage among people whose identities and lifestyles are different from my own... I offer my sincerest apologies to those who might have been offended, threatened or hurt by my songs."
Other stars of dancehall, a sensuous, more contemporary form of reggae, have also recorded anti-gay songs and have been targeted by gay groups because of their lyrics, including Buju Banton.
Beenie Man's manager, Clyde McKenzie, said "in many instances the lyrics of dancehall artists are metaphorical... [Beenie Man] has made it clear that he doesn't want to incite violence."
He said he understood MTV's actions. "If their organization is being pressured they may not want anything to be distracting from their event," he said.
Heddy Pena, executive director of the Miami-based gay-rights group SAVE Dade, said: "We respectfully suggest that he use other metaphors." Her group had been organizing the protest. "It's disappointing to see artists use their talents as a tool for hatred and bigotry," she said.
Beenie Man told The Miami Herald on Sunday that "I just smile, because I don't know what they're fussing about."
"I'm not here to cuss people. I make music. But at the same time I just want to teach people -- my sons and my daughters -- the right way of life," he said. Beenie Man was not available for comment today, his publicist said.
Beenie Man, born Anthony Moses Davis, is on a world tour promoting his new Virgin album, "Back to Basics." His songs include his recent hit, "Dude," "Girls Dem Sugar" and "Who Am I?" His 2001 set "Art and Life" won the Grammy Award for best reggae album.
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