Controversial Jamaican reggae star Buju
Banton was taken into U.S. federal custody in Miami on Thursday, the
Banton is facing a charge of conspiracy
to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of
cocaine, drug enforcement officials said. If convicted, Banton faces
as many as 20 years in prison.
Gay activists who oppose Banton for his
anti-gay lyrics pressured venues to reject the reggae singer earlier
this year. Tour dates in Columbus, Cincinnati, San Francisco,
Orlando and Los Angeles, among other cities, were canceled as a
result. Florida was the final leg of Banton's U.S. tour that ended
Banton's 1992 hit Boom Bye Bye
advocates for the murder of gay men by shooting them in the head with
a submachine gun and pouring acid on them to “burn him up bad like
an old tire wheel.” Banton has dismissed the controversy, saying
he penned the lyrics when he was “a child” of 15. But the
thirty-six-year-old reggae artist has never repudiated the lyrics and
continues to perform the song.
& Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is protesting a
Grammy nomination for Banton's tenth album, Rasta Got Soul.