Organisers of the upcoming Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Norway have defended the decision to add singer Morrissey to the bill following a storm of protest over his controversial remarks about the 2011 Utoya massacre.
The former The Smiths frontman is one of the stars scheduled to perform at the show in Oslo on 11 December (13) but the announcement on Monday (25Nov13) has been met with anger in the country.
The singer, a fervent animal rights activist, provoked a furore in 2011 when he described the massacre - in which 77 people were killed - as "nothing compared to what happens" in the meat industry.
Now news of his inclusion at the concert has reignited the scandal, with thousands of Norwegians taking to Twitter.com to attack the decision, and editors of the country's biggest newspaper Afterposten asking in a front-page headline: "The right man for the Nobel concert?"
Organisers of the event have now spoken out to defend the move.
Producer Odd Arvid Stroemstad tells Afp, "His explanation was convincing enough not to deny him the right to pay tribute to the Nobel laureate... When the artists go on stage, they do it for just one good reason. Some are to the left, some are to the right, but all of them perform for free to support the Nobel Peace Prize and its laureate."
Far-right fanatic Anders Behring Breivik was jailed for 21 years for killing eight people in a bomb attack in Oslo on 22 July, 2011 and slaughtering 69 more at a summer camp on the island of Utoya hours later.
Morrissey's comment was made during a show in Poland just two days after the horror.