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Eagles of Death Metal Singer Shrugs Off Being Barred from Bataclan for Anniversary Concert

PARIS, (Reuters) – The lead singer of U.S. rock band Eagles of Death Metal, on stage a year ago when Islamic State militants attacked their concert, killing 90 people, denied being refused entry to the Bataclan venue for an anniversary concert.

Singer Jesse Hughes had turned up on Saturday at the Bataclan, which re-opened with a show by British pop star Sting.

Bataclan co-director Jules Frutos told French media he had refused entry to Hughes at the Sting concert, but Hughes denied this, saying he had only been hanging around outside the venue.

“I never actually tried to get into the show,” Hughes told reporters on Sunday.

Frutos had earlier told France Info radio station that he would not invite Eagles of Death Metal back to the Bataclan, after Hughes made accusations about its security.

In March, Hughes apologized for suggesting security guards at the Bataclan may have had advance knowledge of the assault, saying he had made the claim as a result of stress and nightmares.

Politicians, including French President Francois Hollande, attended ceremonies on Sunday in the east of Paris to pay tribute to the victims of last year’s attacks. In co-ordinated strikes that night, other gunmen and suicide bombers targeted a soccer stadium and several cafes in Paris. In all, the Islamic State militants killed 130 people.

Eagles of Death Metal were also present at those ceremonies.

“I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else in the world. This is why I am here. To be with my family. This is my family now,” Hughes told reporters, fighting back tears.

Reporting by Antony Paone and Celia Mebroukine; Writing by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Andrew Bolton

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