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Rapper Ja Rule says he was banned from entering the UK days before the start of the tour

Rapper Ja Rule says he was banned from entering the UK days before the start of the tour

Rapper Ja Rule said he was banned from entering the UK, days before the start of his tour.

The 47-year-old American musician, whose real name is Jeffrey Bruce Atkins Sr, is due to kick off his Sunrise tour at the Utilita Arena in Cardiff on Friday, before gigs in London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leeds and Liverpool.

However, he has now said that he will not be able to perform because he is not allowed to enter the country.

He wrote on social media: “I'm absolutely devastated. I can't believe the UK won't let me in. I spent half a million dollars producing my own money to put this tour together but I was refused entry days before my shows. This is not fair to me Or for my fans, 85% of these venues are sold out and now I can't attend…

“The UK is one of the few European countries that restricts entry to people with criminal records.

“In general, you are likely to be denied entry if you have been convicted of an offense punishable by imprisonment for 23 months or more under British law or if you have spent more than 12 months in prison.”

Ja Rule was released from prison in May 2013 after serving two years on tax fraud and tax evasion charges.

Tickets for the shows are still available on Ticketmaster.

After a fan tweeted Ticketmaster to ask about refunds, the site's customer service team responded: “Once we receive confirmed information, an email will be sent to all customers for the event.”

Ja Rule was scheduled to be supported on the tour by Mya, Keri Hilson, and Lloyd.

He is best known for songs like Always On Time, featuring Ashanti, and Tug Lovin'.

The rapper was previously at the center of controversy over the ill-fated Fyre Festival, but was cleared of any legal wrongdoing.

The disastrous 2017 event landed organizer Billy McFarland in prison on fraud charges.

The festival was due to be held in the Bahamas in 2017, but caused losses of more than US$26 million (£20 million) when it was canceled due to inadequate accommodation, food and water.

A Home Office spokesman said: “It is a matter of long-standing government policy that we do not routinely comment on individual cases.”