International recording artist, DeLon, has stepped down as the opening act for America’s Got Talent artist Lindsey Stirling’s first-ever U.S. Tour. The rapper, best known to fans worldwide for his music and two chart topping U.S. Billboard hit singles “Calor De La Salsa” and “Nasty Girl”, elected to leave the tour to address an internet attack campaign aimed at destroying his reputation with fabrications of serious criminal charges.
In a letter to fans and a video posted to his Facebook page, the Sri Lankan/American rapper thanked Lindsey and fans stating, “I want Lindsey’s fans to know how much I’ll miss performing for them. I have NEVER committed any criminal acts, nor have I ever done anything to compromise my integrity – EVER. ”
The smear began four years ago after he released a video condemning hip-hop artist M.I.A. for what he felt were demonstrations of support for known terrorist group the LTTE, one of the most dangerous and deadliest organizations in the world, according to the FBI. The video, featuring his own lyrics over M.I.A.’s hit single “Paper Planes,” depicted graphic images of war torn Sri Lanka and the terrorism inflicted on ordinary citizens. Released on YouTube, it drew 450,000 views overnight igniting instant controversy and eliciting hate mail, death threats and reputation attacks on blogs, message boards and video channels.
Subsequently, the video was removed from YouTube and the controversy faded, but smear content remained on the web. Following the announcement of his first U.S. Tour with Stirling, the content re-surfaced, and DeLon faced new questions about his reputation.
“In today’s digital world, it’s so easy for a person’s reputation to be destroyed by the actions of ill-intentioned people who fabricate stories and spread them across the internet,” says DeLon. “In 2008, it didn’t bother me because I accepted it as a consequence of standing up for what I believed in. I never imagined it would have such devastating ramifications four years later.”
Recognized by the Sri Lankan government as one of the country’s most visible social activists, DeLon helped rebuild homes after the Tsunami and he returns to the country every year to participate in hands-on philanthropy. The government has publicly acknowledged the allegations were false and issued a letter today from Consul General Dr. Hector Weerasinghe in Los Angeles. “Any allegations of crimes or wrong doing are falsehoods, rumors and tactics being used to vilify DeLon Jayasingha’s character and sabotage his endeavors for peace,” says Weerasinghe. “We have explored all allegations and have found them to be blatantly false claims.”
Leaving the tour was a decision made by DeLon and his team to avoid any negative distractions for Stirling on her first major tour. “We felt it was in everyone’s best interest to step down and take the appropriate measures to ensure DeLon’s integrity is never questioned again,” says manager Sam Salisbury.
A first generation American, DeLon is a celebrated hit-maker and a recognizable award-winning artist in Sri Lanka where he’s won numerous awards and mass popularity for his work including the “Best Rap Performance” Award. Based in California, he is an urban ambassador of Sri Lanka, bringing recognition to Sri Lankans around the world who are making a contribution to society. (brooklynvegan)