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Man Stabbed at Vibe Music Awards Show

Times Staff Writer

A hip-hop music awards ceremony in Santa Monica erupted in chaos Monday night after rap pioneer Dr. Dre, awaiting a lifetime achievement award, apparently was punched in the face and his bodyguards set upon the attacker.

The second annual Vibe awards presentations were halted as police swarmed the hangar at Santa Monica Airport, where about 1,000 people were attending the show. Santa Monica police summoned reinforcements from neighboring law enforcement agencies.

In the chaos, a man was stabbed, police said. The victim, identified by police only as a 26-year-old Los Angeles resident, was in stable condition at a hospital.

The show, named for the magazine that celebrates hip-hop and other urban music, was being taped for broadcast today on UPN when the violence broke out about 7:30 p.m.

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Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, was sitting at a front-row table being introduced by composer Quincy Jones and rap artist Snoop Dogg before receiving a Vibe Legend Award from the magazine. According to an associate of Dre’s, a man walked up to Dre’s table and punched him. Dre’s bodyguards then went after the man. .

The incident sparked a melee in which chairs and punches were thrown. Police sprayed Mace in an attempt to quell the disturbance. Lt. Frank Fabrega, a Santa Monica police spokesman, said reinforcements from Culver City, Beverly Hills and other areas were called in because the crowd became “somewhat chaotic.” He said that “once we got officers in, we were able to control the crowd.”

Among those shown in television news footage at the ceremony was rap impresario Marion “Suge” Knight. He and Dre co-founded Death Row Records, which Knight still heads. But they had a falling out that resulted in Dre’s leaving the company and founding his own label, Aftermath. Aftermath, which signed such rap stars as Eminem and Snoop Dogg, has been hugely successful, while Death Row has languished.

After Knight was released in 2001 from a five-year prison term for assault and weapons violations, Dre obtained a court order to keep Knight away from him and forbade the Death Row chief from being in the same room with his former partner. It could not be determined if the court order is still in effect.

Knight told television cameras he had nothing to do with the melee.

After order was restored, the ceremony resumed, and Dre was presented his award.

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Times staff writers Jim Ricci and Chuck Phillips contributed to this report.


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