Snoop Scraps U.K. Tour with Diddy
Talk about dropping it like it's hot.
Snoop Dogg was forced to scrap a string of concert stops in the U.K. with fellow rapper Diddy after British authorities adamantly refused to grant him a visa because of his past run-ins with the law. Officials expressed concern that his presence could stir up trouble in the country, which has been facing an increase in gun-related violence lately.
Currently in the midst of their aptly titled European One Love Peace Tour, the duo has called off gigs in London, Manchester, Cardiff, Glasgow and Nottingham, and will resume the tour with a two-night stand set for Saturday and Sunday in Dublin, Ireland.
"With the late notice of Snoop being denied a visa, time has run out and it is too late to reconfigure the show," promoters Live Nation said in a statement Monday. "Credible behind-the-scenes efforts were made to reverse the decision, to no avail."
After word leaked on Sunday that the hip-hopster was barred from performing in Britain, it was thought that Diddy would headline the English dates on his own, starting with a show at London's Wembley Arena set for Wednesday.
All the while, Snoop pleaded with government officials to reconsider his application for entry, noting that he's made huge strides in leaving his gangsta past behind and turning his life around for the better.
"With my mike and presence I can reach the kids the politicians can't and tell them to stop the violence and killings that are currently going on in the U.K.," the 35-year-old emcee told MTV News International. "I'm here to perform and give people what they want—to be a peace figure."
However, the British Home Office declined to throw him a bone.
According to the trek's organizers, the British government granted Snoop a work permit several weeks prior, but the late-breaking decision to deny him a visa made it difficult, if not impossible, for the performances to go forward with Diddy alone; hence, the tour fizzled.
"P. Diddy and Snoop were incredibly disappointed and devastated by the news," the promoters said. "They really did not want to let fans down this way as the U.K. was a planned highlight of the tour. However, this ultimately was a situation out of their control."
Snoop, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, got into this mess back in April 2006, when he and five members of his posse were arrested at London's Heathrow Airport on charges of violent disorder after getting into a brawl with police and airport staff. The ruckus started when the group was refused entry into British Airways' first-class lounge because only three of them had first-class tickets. Seven officers were injured in the incident.
Snoop and his entourage ended up spending a night in the slammer before being released with a caution. However, there were consequences. British Airways banned them from traveling on the airline in the future, and the following month U.K. authorities denied the Doggfather a visa.
Snoop has made several return trips to the pound since then.
In January, he pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of possessing a deadly weapon after he tried to board a plane with a collapsible police baton at John Wayne Airport in Southern California in September.
The entertainer was arrested again at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, on Oct. 26 after a search of his car turned up a gun and marijuana. After posting $35,000 bail in that case, he was nabbed yet again the next month when cops pulled him over after taping his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and found another handgun, marijuana and cocaine in an illegal hidden compartment. He was jailed yet again before being released on $60,000 bail.
And last but not least, Snoop was collared in Sweden Mar. 11 on suspicion of being under the influence of narcotics after Stockholm police stopped him and two companions on their way to a postconcert party in the Swedish capital and found a small amount of drugs in the vehicle, though it was unclear whether the contraband belonged to the rapper.
In some related news, a legal beef between Snoop and Priority Records may be close to being resolved, four months after the multiplatinum-selling artist sued the label for allegedly breaching its contract, screwing him out of $2 million resulting from a 1998 agreement and failing to consult with him regarding a greatest hits compilation.
Both sides told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Hess that they are looking into possible mediation to put the legal dispute behind them instead of going to trial. Snoop's legal eagle, Kenneth Freundlich, also noted that his client would be more than happy to be deposed in the case. The next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 27.
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