Jamaican Dancehall Star Banned from Music Festival for Anti-Gay Lyrics

One of Jamaica’s biggest stars will be banned from performing at a major music festival in Jamaica this year after he included an extended anti-gay rhyme during his performance at the festival on Dec. 26.

Sizzla devoted more than a minute of his set during the 2013 Sting festival to attacking LGBT people. Now in its 30th year, the annual festival was broadcast from Kingston to an estimated audience of 315 million people on five continents, according to organizers.

Sizzla has long been criticized for his anti-gay lyrics, which are common in the music of many popular dancehall performers. He was one of the targets of the Stop Murder Music campaign launched by LGBT activists in North America and Europe in the mid-2000s in an effort to block foreign performances of Jamaican musicians whom the activists said incited hate crimes.

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