Sean Combs has rushed to the defence of Justin Bieber following his BET Awards nomination, insisting skin colour should be no bar to success.
The Baby hitmaker has been shortlisted in the Best New Artist category at the Black Entertainment Television ceremony next month (Jun10).
Bieber's inclusion in the nominations list caused controversy when it was announced by Queen Latifah on Tuesday (18May10), but the singer responded by taking to his page to thank awards bosses for being "colour blind" when it comes to music.
In a series of posts he writes, "Thank u to BET for nominating me for Best New Artist @ the BET Awards this year!! This is an incredible honor and I'm very grateful... read some articles about my bet nomination n (and) i think this goes 2 show that music is color blind... Music is the universal language no matter the country we are born in or the color of our skin. Brings us all together. (sic)"
Now Combs has spoken out to defend Bieber's nomination, saying, "The awards are important to hip-hop and to show (hip-hop artists) in the right light. But the beauty of BET is, if Justin Bieber's hot, then he deserves to be on that stage. Sometimes, at other award shows, the colour of your skin or the type of music you make takes away from getting the accolade you deserve."