Grammy-winning reggae star Buju Banton is now a free man after being in prison for a decade. The “Destiny” hitmaker, who spent ten years in federal prison, was released early Friday morning (December 7).
Buju Banton, whose given name is Mark Myrie, was arrested on cocaine charges in 2009 and given a mandatory 10-year sentence in 2011.
He was previously scheduled to be released in 2019, however, his release day was last year changed to December 8, 2018.
In his fight for freedom, Buju Banton went on to lose several appeals all while maintaining his innocence but in 2015, he decided that he would stop fighting and serve out his full sentence.
The judge dismissed a gun charge that could’ve potentially added more time to his sentence in exchange for him dropping his appeals.
In a message sent to his fans last month, Buju Banton says his sole focus will be his music and his supporters. “In light of the adversity I have encountered, I feel the need to stress that my only desire going forward is peace and love,” he wrote. “I only want to be associated with my craft. Having survived, I want to share the good news and strength of my music. I just want to continue making music, which I’ve devoted my life to.”