Reggae Artist Buju Banton Is Finally Released From Prison

After serving 7 years in prison, legendary Reggae artist Buju Banton has finally been freed. Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was sentenced in June 2011 after he was convicted of conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute. Myrie’s trial began on Feb. 14, 2011 in Tampa, Fla. federal court, just one day after he landed a Grammy for best reggae album. Prosecutors had alleged that Myrie plotted to buy 11 pounds of coke for $135,000.

Banton was released from Georgia’s McRae Correctional institution yesterday. He returned his homeland of Jamaica last night at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and was secretly whisked away after briefly taking pictures and greeting his fans, who had gathered outside of the airport.

In the 90’s Banton held the spot as being one of the top dance hall singers in Jamaica and internationally, releasing hit songs ‘Browning’, ‘Bogle’, ‘Over me’, ‘Batty Rider’ and ‘Driver’.
In 1992, he even beat Bob Marley’s record for No. 1 singles in a year on Jamaican music charts. Myrie’s legacy unfortunately also came with controversy due to the release ‘Boom Bye Bye’ a song that was accused of “openly inciting the killing of gay people,” spurring venues to cancel 28 of his shows between 2005 and 2011. He disavowed “hatred or violence,” in the wake of global condemnation.

The artist already has plans for his next moves, one of which is set to help the youth of his country find employment opportunities, according to Jamaica’s minister of culture minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange.

According to a statement the the entertainer released last month, fans should also expect new music, the statement reads; “In light of the adversity I have encountered, I feel the need to stress that my only desire going forward is peace and love. I only want to be associated with my craft. Having survived, I want to share the good news and strength of my music. I just want to continue making music, which I’ve devoted my life to. I look forward to the opportunity to say a personal thanks to my fans and everyone who supported me.” Welcome back Buju Banton

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