3.26.2009

Grammy nominated artist Wayna arrested at Houston airport for a stage prop

Written by Jesse Muhammad

You may remember that just before this year's Grammy awards I did a blog one-on-one with the Ethiopian-born songstress Wayna. (Interview Archive)

She was in Houston this week making a last stop in completion of a mini-tour of Texas and was en route to Miami to perform and attend the Winter Music Conference on the morning of Wednesday, March 25th. But her plans got altered after being arrested at the airport in Houston.

According to a press statement that I received from her public relations director:

"As she attempted to go through security, she was questioned by airport security about the prop that she uses on stage to perform a song about police brutality called "Billy Club" off of her critically-acclaimed sophomore album Higher Ground. The item had been inadvertently packed in her carry on bag. Despite explaining to security that she was a performer and that she had traveled throughout the country without incident with the prop usually packed in checked luggage; and that she had no intention to use it as a weapon, she was nonetheless arrested and charged on a 3rd degree felony weapons charge. She was released early Thursday morning on $5,000 bail."

"Spending over 12 hours in jail has been exhausting and challenging for her especially given the irony of the situation. She has never been arrested nor has any criminal history. She relays that the experience has given her new and personal perspective to some of themes and messages she relays and portrays in her music."


And even more shocking to her is that she has to appear in court on Friday, March 27, which is unusually fast but again this is Texas we're talking about.

This wasn't meant to come across as some form of celebrity gossip or bossip post but to 1) support a great artist that is making conscious songs that impact the masses and 2) to remind us to be careful at these airports.