Page last updated at 11:08 GMT, Friday, 8 January 2010

Buju Banton denies US drug charge

Buju Banton
Banton is best known for tracks Mr. Nine and Driver A.

Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton has pleaded not guilty to a drug charge in a court in Florida.

Banton was arrested in December on a charge of conspiring to buy more than five kilograms of cocaine from an undercover law enforcement officer.

The 36-year-old singer - real name Mark Myrie - did not seek bail as, if released, he would be held by US immigration officials.

It is likely Grammy-nominated Myrie will miss the event on 31 January.

The dancehall singer has been nominated at the Grammys for his latest album, Rasta Got Soul.

Banton was arrested at his home in Tamarac, Florida in early December.

Authorities say he met with a confidential informant to discuss the drug purchase.

His lawyer, David Oscar Markus said Banton is innocent and was set up by "some evil people trying to take advantage of his trusting and honest character".

He is best known for the track Bogle and the controversial single Boom Bye Bye.

In 2004, he was banned from performing at a gig in Manchester after protests about his allegedly homophobic lyrics, which are often used in the genre of dancehall music.



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