Snoop Dogg and Diddy were forced to scrap the British leg of their European One Love Peace Tour after British authorities refused to grant Snoop a visa to enter the country.
"I was shocked when I heard about the decision," Snoop told MTV News International on Sunday — before the final decision came down late on Monday. "I couldn't believe it could happen at such short notice. They gave me my work permit weeks ago so we thought it was OK. What can I do? All I can do now is ask politely and see if the U.K. home office will change its decision."
A LiveNation spokesperson confirmed the cancellation on Monday in a press release, saying that the dates were called off, even after "desperate attempts" to have them continue. Despite unnamed "assurances" that were made, the release said, "with the late notice of Snoop being denied a visa, time has run out and it is too late to reconfigure the show. Credible behind-the-scenes efforts were made to reverse the decision, to no avail."
For his part, Snoop (born Calvin Broadus) said he was disappointed that he would not be able to spread his message of peace to his U.K. fans. "With my mic and my presence I can reach kids that the politicians can't and tell them to stop the violence," he said. "They listen to Snoop, so holla back!"
The unlikely pair have been on a European tour that was slated to play five dates in Britain. Before canceling the shows, organizers had said that the English dates would go on without Snoop (beginning with a gig scheduled for Wednesday at London's Wembley Arena), but soon relented. The tour will resume with a pair of shows in Dublin on March 31 and April 1.
Snoop was denied a visa because of British Home Office rules that allow foreign citizens to be barred from entering the country if there are concerns about their presence. The rapper and five members of his entourage were arrested on charges of violent disorder and starting a brawl in April 2006 when they scuffled with authorities at London's Heathrow Airport after someone in the rapper's party was denied entry to British Airways' first-class lounge (see "Snoop Dogg Out On Bail After London Airport Arrest"). A month after the fight, in which several officers received minor injuries, Snoop was denied entry into Britain.
Snoop seemed particularly stung by the snub in light of what he said was his attempt to leave his past behind him. "I think if people could hear me saying this they'd see I'm about peace, love and harmony," he said. "I can't control my drugs and gangbanging past. People can see that I now have a different identity and that I've changed my lifestyle around completely. ... I'm here to perform and give people what they want. To be a peace figure. Me and Puffy come from a background where with the East Coast and the West Coast, there were a lot of differences in the hip-hop community. But now we want to go around the world and show positive examples in the U.K."