Jamaican reggae artist Buju Banton, who has advocated violence against gay men, has been nominated for a Best Reggae Album Grammy award.
Commenting on the nomination, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said: “While we are disappointed that the Recording Academy has chosen to honour Banton’s album, Rasta Got Soul, with a nomination, the highest honour in music, we are hopeful that the Grammy voters will chose to bestow the Grammy for Best Reggae Album on one of the other nominees who managed to record reggae that does not condone hate.”
Banton, who was acquitted of assaulting a group of gay men in Kingston in 2006, has become known for his anti-gay song lyrics which advocate torture and violence against gay men.
In 1988’s Boom, Bye Bye, Banton sings, “If a guy comes near me, then his skin must peel. Burn him up bad like an old tire wheel.”
In 2007 Banton signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, championed by UK gay rights activists Peter Tatchell, in which he committed himself to no longer record or sing anti-gay lyrics. Later that year, he denied having signed the agreement.
In august this year, a number of concerts set to be performed by Banton in the US were cancelled following pressure from gay rights groups.