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House of Blues cancels concert

In a continuation of the battle over alleged anti-gay lyrics in Jamaican dance-hall music, the House of Blues in West Hollywood has canceled another concert by a controversial Jamaican singer. Sizzla’s Sept. 12 concert at the club was scrapped this week after protests by the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, an action that mirrors an episode last year when a show by reggae singer Capleton met the same fate.

“In working with the community, we came to the decision that we would cancel the scheduled performance of the artist,” Jack Gannon, the House of Blues’ senior vice president of marketing, said Tuesday. Tonight’s Sizzla show at the Cleveland branch of the club will go on as scheduled, he said.

Sizzla, Capleton and other reggae and dance-hall singers, including Beenie Man and Buju Banton, have been targeted by activists for lyrics that they say encourage violence against gays.

In addition to the House of Blues incidents, dance-hall artists have been dropped from the MTV Video Music Awards and a British awards show in recent years over the issue of homophobic lyrics. Sizzla, whose real name is Miguel Collins, was denied a visa by British authorities last year after protests there over a scheduled tour.

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Sizzla is scheduled to release his major-label U.S. debut album early next year on the New York-based Damon Dash Music Group. Representatives of the label could not be reached for comment.


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