Snoop granted visa for Australian tour

Sept. 12, 2008 at 10:39 AM

SYDNEY, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. rap star Snoop Dogg has obtained a visa to enter Australia, allowing him to tour the country, immigration officials announced.

Dogg, whose real name is Cordozar Calvin Broadus, is to begin his Australian tour with Ice Cube and Thugs-N-Harmony next month.

Australian authorities initially hesitated to approve the hip-hop artist's paperwork due to past U.S. criminal charges brought against him involving drugs and guns.

He was barred from entering the United Kingdom after he was involved in a fracas in 2006 at London's Heathrow Airport, however, the restriction was rescinded this year.

"The department weighed his criminal convictions against his previous behavior while in Australia," the Australian government said in a statement issued to the BBC. "We took into account all relevant factors and, on balance, the department decided to grant the visa. Mr Broadus will need to abide by Australia's laws and he will be formally counseled before his arrival about his visa conditions and our expectations relating to his conduct."

The BBC said Australian actor Russell Crowe wrote a letter to immigration officials requesting the rapper be allowed into the country and assuring them, "Snoop Dogg poses no threat to Australia or to any individual in this country."

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