Snoop Dogg Denied Australian Visa for Criminal Record

Rapper Snoop Dogg has been refused entry into Australia because of his extensive criminal record, the immigration minister said Thursday.

It is the second time this year the troubled rapper has been barred from entering another country.

Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr., was due to fly into Sydney this week to co-host theMTV Australia Video Music Awards on Sunday, but officials nipped those plans in the bud by canceling his visa.

"He doesn't seem the sort of bloke we want in this country," Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews told Sydney's Macquarie Radio.

Andrews said Snoop Dogg's visa was canceled because he had failed to pass the country's strict character test, which takes criminal convictions into account. The rapper now has 28 days to protest the decision.

Donald Etra, the rapper's Los Angeles-based lawyer, said he has not heard from his client about the visa cancellation and could not comment.

MTV Australia's Managing Director Dave Sibley said the network plans to lobby the immigration department to allow Snoop Dogg into the country.

"We're still hopeful we'll be able to crack this so Snoop will be able to perform at the awards," he said.

Earlier this month, Snoop Dogg was sentenced to five years' probation and 800 hours of community service after he pleaded no contest to felony gun and drug charges in California.

He was also convicted in 1990 of cocaine possession and charged with gun possession after a 1993 traffic stop. He pleaded guilty in exchange for three years' probation and a promise to make public service announcements against violence.

However, the rapper was acquitted of murder in 1996 following the death of an alleged gang member who was killed by gunfire from the vehicle Snoop Dogg was traveling in.

During Snoop Dogg's last visit to Australia in February, Andrews said he overstayed his visa by two days and was also given an official warning.

In March, Snoop Dogg and fellow rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs were forced to scrap a tour of Britain after authorities denied Snoop Dogg a visa. Britain's Home Office rules state that foreign citizens can be barred from entering the country if there are concerns about their presence.

The cancellation followed an incident at Heathrow Airport in April 2006 in which Snoop Dogg and five other men were arrested and spent a night in jail for starting a fight after some members of the rapper's entourage were denied access to British Airways' first-class lounge.

A former associate of the Los Angeles gang the Crips, Snoop Dogg built his early career on recordings offering gritty details of gang life.