General News

Tracy Morgan confirmed as Billboard Music Awards host days after drama Down Under

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Apr 17, 2013 | 2:03pm EDT

Controversial comedian Tracy Morgan has been confirmed to host the 2013 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas next month (May13), just days after his jokes prompted fans to walk out of a show in Melbourne, Australia on Saturday (13Apr13). The former Saturday Night Live regular upset women's rights campaigners Down Under with overly sexual references and the explicit content of his material. Women's rights activists, including Melinda Tankard Reist, who runs female-focused campaign group Collective Shout, branded Morgan's show sexist and called for fans to boycott the rest of his dates in Australia. Morgan addressed the controversy during his performance in Perth on Monday (15Apr13), stating, "All I'm trying to do is make people laugh... It's fear. (Tankard Reist) doesn't understand me... I love her anyway." The drama Down Under hasn't prompted Billboard Music Awards bosses to reconsider asking him to host and Morgan admits he's honoured to be "a part of one of music's biggest nights". He says, "When you look at the artists who have come up through Billboard over the years, it's incredible. And how can you say no when Prince is going to be there!" As well as Prince, Justin Bieber, Miguel, Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars will perform at the ceremony, which will be held at the MGM Grand on 19 May (13).

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