Rap Artist Common - White House Defends Invitation to Controversial Singer

White House Defends Invitation to Controversial Singer
VOA - Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

The White House has defended an invitation to a Grammy award-winning singer accused of making offensive comments about former U.S. President George Bush in music lyrics.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday President Barack Obama does not support some of the lyrics by the singer, a rap artist known as Common.

But Carney said some of the criticism distorts what Common stands for “more broadly.” The spokesman said Mr. Obama appreciates the singer's work with children, such as getting them involved with poetry so they can avoid “negative influences” on U.S. city streets.

Common is one of several artists who were invited to an “Evening of Poetry” at the White House Wednesday.

In some of his past lyrics, Common criticized Mr. Bush for getting the United States involved in the Iraq war.

A former senior White House advisor to Mr. Bush, Karl Rove, said Tuesday that in his lyrics, Common had called for assassinating Mr. Bush and violence against police.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, a U.S. vice presidential candidate in 2008, has also criticized Common.

Common's name at birth was Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Junior.

The “Evening of Poetry” is hosted by first lady Michelle Obama. For the event, the White House invited accomplished American poets, musicians and artists to read, sing and showcase the impact of poetry on American culture.

White House Defends Invitation to Controversial Singer
Article from VOA

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