Reggae's Elephant Man nixed from Toronto concert
Singer criticized for songs urging violence against gays, lesbians
Controversial reggae star Elephant Man, widely criticized for his songs urging violence against gays and lesbians, has been dropped from a concert during the final weekend of Toronto's Caribana Festival.
The contentious Jamaican singer, whose real name is O'Neil Bryan, was withdrawn as a headliner from the Celebrity Ball concert scheduled for Toronto's Circa Nightclub on Sunday night.
He had been scheduled to perform along with U.S. rapper Fabolous and singer Trey Songz. According to organizers, the event drew about 4,000 attendees last year.
Although not officially tied to Caribana, the concert is one of many local events that have cropped up during the festival, when tens of thousands of extra visitors descend on the city.
"Circa stands for peace, love and equality. Elephant Man has been removed from the Celebrity Ball. Have a safe Caribana," club officials said via Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.
Shortly after concert promoters announced the lineup this week, anger at Elephant Man's inclusion began spreading via online social networks Facebook and Twitter. Protests by Toronto gay and lesbian rights activists previously scuttled a 2007 Elephant Man concert.
In 2007, the singer was to have performed alongside fellow Jamaican performer Sizzla, who was himself once barred from entering the U.K. and among a group investigated by British authorities for inciting murder via song lyrics.
Toronto's Caribana, considered North America's largest celebration of Caribbean and African heritage, got underway on July 14. It continues through Aug. 3.