21 Savage will likely have to sit out of the Grammy Awards this weekend thanks to his arrest by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency on Sunday.
The rapper, whose real name is Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was nominated for two Grammys, both for his collaboration with Post Malone, "Rockstar." The track was nominated for Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance.
21 Savage built his career on being an Atlanta native, whose lyrics reflected life in the city and his work had similarities with other Atlanta artists. His Wikipedia page even listed Atlanta as his place of birth until he was arrested early Sunday morning. ICE spokesman Brian Cox told the Journal-Constitution 21 Savage is really a U.K. national who entered the U.S. with a visa in 2005 and has been in the country illegally since 2006.
The Daily Mail later obtained 21 Savage's birth certificate, which listed London's Hewham Hospital as his place of birth and his birth date as Oct. 22, 1992.
On Monday, 21 Savage's attorney, Charles H. Kuck, said the rapper "never hid his immigration status from the U.S. government" and said his arrest was "based upon incorrect information about prior criminal charges." Knuck said ICE was refusing to release 21 Savage on "bond of any amount, despite the fact that he has a pending U-Visa application (as the victim of crime) with USCIS, and that he has relief from removal available to him."
Knuck called 21 Savage's arrest and detention a "civil law violation" that "serves no other purpose than to unnecessarily punish him and try to intimidate him into giving up his right to fight to remain in the United States."
21 Savage has found some support from the music community, with Jay-Z calling his arrest "an absolute travesty, his U visa petition has been pending for 4 years. In addition to being a successful recording artist, 21 deserves to be reunited with his children immediately."
Jay-Z's Roc Nation also hired attorney Alex Spiro to help 21 Savage.
"We are not going to stop until he is released, bonded out or in front of a judge," Spiro told TMZ. "What we have here is someone who overstayed their Visa with an application pending for 4 years — not a convicted criminal that needs to be detained and removed but, by all accounts a wonderful person, father, and entertainer who has a marijuana offense which was vacated and sealed."0comments
The 61st Annual Grammy Awards air live from Los Angeles' Staples Center on CBS at 8 p.m. ET Sunday.
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