Rapper Snoop Dogg has hailed the U.K. immigration officials who helped to overturn his visa ban and publicly thanked them on U.S. TV. The "Beautiful" hitmaker, real name Calvin Broadus, incurred the wrath of border officials in 2006 when he was arrested following a fracas at London's Heathrow Airport.
He was denied entry into the country in 2007 when authorities labeled him a threat, citing his prior drug and firearms offenses. Snoop challenged the decision in court and it was lifted in 2008, only for government representatives to take the case to the Court of Appeal, where it was decided the judge who reversed the ruling may have "misinterpreted the test of exclusion".
But the hip-hop star refused to back down and his case was heard at a U.K. Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in February, where his lawyers stressed the rapper's charity and community work as a high school football coach. The appeal worked and the ban was lifted for good - and Snoop is grateful to the two senior immigration judges who ruled against border authorities.
He tells U.S. newsman Larry King, "As we speak I've been reinstated and I'm on my way back to the U.K. so I wanna give a shout out to all the beautiful people who allowed me to come back." The rapper plans to return to Britain in May as part of his upcoming European tour.