Reggae Show Canceled Over Anti-Gay Lyrics

Times Staff Writer

A Hollywood club has canceled a performance by Buju Banton, a reggae star whose violent lyrics about gays and lesbians have made him a flashpoint figure.

Adam Manacker, general manager of the Highland nightclub and restaurant, said Thursday that e-mail complaints and concerned callers in recent days had prompted him to research Banton’s past and call off the Oct. 2 show. Refunds are available through the vendor where the tickets were purchased.

“We felt it was the right thing to do after doing some research on the matter,” Manacker said.

The husky-voiced Banton has been a major star in his native Jamaica since the early 1990s with brash dancehall music and, in the last decade, a more traditional reggae sound. His career aspirations in the United States, though, have been stunted and largely defined by the frequent protests against his attitude toward gays.

Banton was tried and acquitted on charges that he participated in the beating of six gay men by a Kingston, Jamaica, gang in the summer of 2004.