Buju Banton, the Jamaican reggae star who has been accused of inciting hatred towards gays, has been nominated for a Grammy award.

The singer had a string of gigs in the US cancelled this autumn after protests from gay groups.

He has been accused of homophobia due to song lyrics which appear to advocate the murder of gays and lesbians.

Banton was nominated for Best Reggae Album for Rasta Got Soul and will compete against Sean Paul, Gregory Issacs and sons of Bob Marley Julian and Stephen Marley.

It is the fourth time he has been nominated for a Grammy.

The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Centre has attacked the honour, saying it was “an affront” to gay people.

Chief Public Affairs Officer Jim Key said: “We’re shocked that Buju Banton, a singer with a long record of performing a song that glorifies the murder of gay people, would be honoured with a Grammy nomination, regardless of the artistic merit of any of his work.

“It’s an affront to LGBT people, and to all fair-minded people around the world, that Buju Banton was even nominated. We certainly hope the members of the Recording Academy will not bestow the prestigious honor of a Grammy on someone whose music promotes murder.”

In July 2007 the star signed up to the Reggae Compassionate Act, promising not to perform songs that advocate homophobia, in a deal brokered by Stop Murder Music activists.

He later denied that he had made any such commitment and was filmed singing one of the contentious songs, Boom Bye Bye, at a gig in 2006.

The Grammys will be held at a ceremony in Los Angeles on January 31st.