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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 August, 2004, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
Singer sorry for 'anti-gay songs'
Beenie Man
Beenie Man is signed to the Virgin label
Jamaican dancehall star Beenie Man has issued his "sincerest apologies" for violent 'homophobic lyrics' that have caused upset.

The singer recently scrapped a UK tour date after he was spoken to by police, following complaints from gay and lesbian pressure group Outrage!

In response, Beenie Man has offered his "sincerest apologies" and promised to renounce violence towards others.

But Outrage! says it is just an attempt to "save his career from collapse".

Beenie Man issued the statement through his record company Virgin.

It said: "It has come to my attention that certain lyrics and recordings I have made in the past may have caused distress and outrage among people whose identities and lifestyles are different from my own.

"While my lyrics are very personal, I do not write them with the intent of purposefully hurting or maligning others, and I offer my sincerest apologies to those who might have been offended, threatened or hurt by my songs.

Vague

"As a human being, I renounce violence towards other human beings in every way, and pledge henceforth to uphold these values as I move forward in my career as an artist."

But the apology has been dismissed by campaigners.

"Beenie Man's so-called apology is so vague that it does not even mention what he is apologising for. It could be an apology for anything," said Brett Lock of Outrage!

"It contains no explicit regret for his incitements to murder gay people, and no specific affirmation of his respect for homosexuals and homosexual human rights.

Outrage! said it would continue its campaign against Beenie Man because he had not withdrawn the offending songs.

"His apology rings hollow when he is still making money from his incitements to kill homosexuals," added Mr Lock.




SEE ALSO:
Police study 'anti-gay' reggae claims
18 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
Concert cancelled in lyrics row
25 Jun 04  |  London


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