Buju Banton A.K.A Mark Anthony Myrie faces 10 years in prison from a prior drug case which ended in 2010. After a trial involving drug conspiracy and firearms charges in Tampa, Florida, Buju was found guilty on February 22, 2011 on three of the four charges. He was sentenced to ten years in prison on June 23, 2011
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Banton, a reggae sensation back in the 90′s grew up in a small town in Kingston Jamaica. 1992 was an explosive year for Buju as he broke Bob Marley’s record for the greatest number of number one singles in a year.
Dancehall reggae fixture Buju Banton, embroiled in a longstanding drug case which ended in mistrial in 2010, was earlier today sentenced to serve 10 years at the Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse by Judge James T. Moody. Banton – real name Mark Myrie – will serve his time at the FCI prison facility in Miami where the singer first incurred his cocaine charges in 2009.
The Grammy-award winning and internationally known reggae star was convicted this past February of conspiracy charges relating to organizing a drug deal in a warehouse monitored by police officials. After the 2010 mistrial, federal prosecutors pressed the case based on video evidence which showed Banton sampling the illegal wares and discussing price details regarding the heavy amounts of cocaine being transferred.
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There was also some controversy from gay rights activists as he sang about the murder of gay men in his huge hit “Boom Bye Bye”. After much controversy rumors had it that Banton signed a pledged called the Reggae Compassionate Act to retain from creating songs that had homophobic slurs that would be degrading to the gay community but later denied that he had signed such a document.
Banton has attracted criticism over his anti-gay lyrics. For example, his monster hit “Boom Bye Bye”, released in 1988 (and re-recorded in 1992), contains lyrics inciting the murder of gay men (with “boom bye bye” being onomatopoeia for the sounds of gunshot). In a news article on anti-gay attitudes, The New York Times reporter Kelefa Sanneh said the song is, “a blood-curdling song with a low, lurching beat and a murderous chorus.”[
In 2007 Banton was allegedly among a number of reggae artists who signed a pledge, the Reggae Compassionate Act, created by the Stop Murder Music campaign, to refrain from performing homophobic songs or making homophobic statements, but he later denied that he had made any such commitment.
Willy, Don’t Be Silly!
Although Buju Banton gave the world a ton of hits there was also much controversy as well. Without controversy, there is no drama which might of been his plan all along his path to stardom. Needless to say, Banton is just one of many stars in the music industry who are being put in jail for drug charges and unfortunately, others will soon follow in his footsteps.