Buju Banton

The Grammy-winning anti-gay reggae singer Buju Banton has been sentenced to 10 years in jail in a drug trial in the US.

Banton (real name Mark Myrie) was found guilty in a Florida District Court on Thursday of drug trafficking charges and of possession of a firearm in connection with drug trafficking.

He was arrested after attempting to sell $125 000 worth of cocaine to a US Drug Enforcement Agency undercover informant.

The Jamaican recording has been slammed for his virulently anti-gay lyrics over the years.

In one song, Boom Bye Bye, Banton asserts that “batty bwoy” and “batty man” (the Jamaican equivalent of “faggot”) need to die, and he will “shoot them in the head” and “burn them”.

In 2009 he said that “this is a fight, and as I said in one of my songs ‘there is no end to the war between me and faggot'”. While at one point he promised to tone down his homophobic rhetoric he continued to sing anti-gay songs at concerts.

Earlier this year, while already under arrest for the drug charges – and despite calls from gay groups to disqualify him because of his open bigotry – Banton was awarded the Grammy award for best reggae album.

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