US rapper Killer Mike was arrested and booked on a charge of misdemeanor battery following an alleged “physical altercation” backstage at Sunday’s Grammy Awards, Los Angeles police have said.
The 48-year-old, whose real name is Michael Render, was in the process of being released from custody by late Sunday, the LAPD confirmed in a statement. The performing artist’s arrest came soon after he won three awards at the music industry showpiece event, including his first Grammy Award in more than two decades.
“On Sunday, 4 February, just after 4pm, a male adult was detained and handcuffed for a physical altercation,” a statement issued by Los Angeles police said on Sunday night. He is due to appear in court later this month, according to the BBC.
“The suspect was placed under arrest and was transported to LAPD Central Division,” it continued, identifying Render by name and confirming that he was booked on a charge of misdemeanor battery. No further information – such as the identities of anyone else who may have been involved – was released.
Footage following the incident, filmed by the Hollywood Reporter, appears to show a handcuffed Render being escorted from Los Angeles’ Crypto Arena by police. In the brief video clip, a voice can be heard saying, “Are you serious? What the f***?”
Render’s arrest came soon after he swept three categories at the Grammys, winning Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song, and Best Rap Performance – beating rap industry heavyweights including Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Nicki Minaj to the prestigious honors.
In addition to his music career, Render is known for his activism and has been vocal about some issues facing black Americans, such as police brutality and racism.
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Prior to his arrest, Render reacted to his trio of Grammys by speaking of his regrets over some of his actions earlier in life. “At 20 years old, I thought it was cool to be a drug dealer,” he said backstage. “At 40, I started to live with the regrets of the things I’ve done.”
“At 45, I started to rap about it. At 48, I stand here as a man full of empathy and sympathy for the things I’ve done,” he added.
Representatives for Killer Mike have yet to comment on the situation.
Sunday’s 66th Grammy Awards were dominated by pop superstar Taylor Swift, who made history by becoming the first performer to win Album of the Year on four separate occasions – edging ahead of Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra in the category.
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