R&B Star Condemns Homophobia, Slams Dancehall Artists

Beverly Knight, one of the UK’s top-selling R&B stars is supporting a campaign to rid popular dancehall music from artists including Buju Banton and Beenie Man of homophobic lyrics. “It breaks my heart that people as talented as Buju Banton and Beenie Man feel the need to appeal to the lowest common denominator for hatred for gays,” Knight told the BBC recently. The star, whose parents are Jamaican, endorsed calls for the police to investigate violently homophobic lyrics which incite and glorify the murder of lesbian and gay people. “As an artist, I am very passionate about people’s right to say as they wish, but as a human being I’m very passionate about people’s right to exist as they are and to be left in peace,” she said. Knight is currently endorsing the ‘Stop Murder Music’ campaign, which has been criticized for attempting to wreck artist’s careers, however, Knight says the artist needs to take responsibility ‘first and foremost’ for their actions and content. The Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service are investigating seven artists – including Buju Banton, Beenie Man, Elephant Man and Bounty Killer – after they were presented with a dossier by gay human rights group OutRage! listing songs which incite the murder of lesbian and gay people. Incitement to murder is a criminal offence in Britain. “If you are prepared to go on record for eternity saying things that are hateful then you have to be responsible for the consequences of your actions.” “I think it was one of my friends who said, you know, the hardest thing you can be in this life is to be born black and gay. Hopefully, by a lot more people, especially the young gay black men… being able to stand up and say “I’m black, I’m gay, I’m proud”, slowly but surely we might see a change in attitudes,” she concluded.


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