Buju Banton has released an official statement to address his controversial song ‘Boom Bye Bye.’
“In recent days there has been a great deal of press coverage about the song ‘Boom Bye Bye’ from my past which I long ago stopped performing and removed from any platform that I control or have influence over,” The Grammy-winning Reggae singer said. “I recognise that the song has caused much pain to listeners, as well as to my fans, my family and myself. After all the adversity we’ve been through I am determined to put this song in the past and continue moving forward as an artist and as a man.”
“I affirm once and for all that everyone has the right to live as they so choose,” Banton continues. “In the words of the great Dennis Brown, ‘Love and hate can never be friends.’ I welcome everyone to my shows in a spirit of peace and love. Please come join me in that same spirit.”
Boom Bye Bye has been causing controversy since it was released in 1992. Recorded by a then teenage Banton in 1988, the track denounces homosexuals and delineates violence towards them.
The backlash Banton received from the track was almost enough to silence his career as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights groups lobbied for his ban at several concerts.
Last year, LGBT community in Barbados reportedly called on Buju Banton to publicly denounce the single ahead of his performance in the country.
Buju Banton has not performed the track since 2007, when he signed the Reggae Compassionate Act. The act was drafted in 2007 as part of the Stop Murder Music campaign, a human-rights groups coalition, which advocates for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans-identified persons.