Jamaican reggae star Sizzla has been prevented from appearing in Stockholm tonight, despite a go-ahead earlier in the day, in response to a widespread backlash from gay rights activists on account of the anti-gay lyrics in his music.
Ulrika Westerlund, spokesperson for the Swedish Federation for LGBT rights, urged concert-goers to reconsider attending the event, and said that “it should go without saying that gigs should not be booked for this man.” Slakthuset, the company behind the event, apologised both to those who had tickets for the concert, and those who felt offended by the booking of the singer.
That said, concerts are still planned for Italy, France, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands and Spain.
The singer, whose full name is Sizzla Kalonji, was denied a Schengen visa in 2008 after a German gay-rights group appealed to their government. He was stopped at Madrid airport that year and returned to the US. A year earlier, he supposedly signed up to the Reggae Compassionate Act, which pledged to purge music of all hatred and prejudice, including racism, sexism and homophobia. However, he later denied ever having signed the pact.
He was supposed to appear in the UK in 2004, but the concert was cancelled, as was the case in Toronto three years later.
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