CANBERRA (Reuters) - U.S. rapper Snoop Dogg has been barred from entering Australia after failing a character test, Australia's government said on Thursday.

Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, was told his visa would be cancelled after he pleaded no contest to gun and drug charges in the United States earlier this month.

"He doesn't seem the sort of bloke we want in this country," Andrews told local radio.

"This man has been a member of a Los Angeles gang, and is still associated with it apparently, that's been involved in murder, robberies and drug dealing in the LA area."

Snoop Dogg was due to attend the MTV Australian Video Music Awards on Sunday with Hollywood party girl and reality TV actress Nicole Richie until the conservative government's decision.

At a Los Angeles court earlier this month, Snoop Dogg entered a surprise no-contest plea to gun and drug charges and was given a three-year suspended sentence that will spare him jail time.

The 35-year-old rap star was also sentenced to five years probation and ordered to perform 800 hours of community service by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge.

The rapper's lyrics have been accused of being racist and sexist. He recently released a compilation album to mark his place as a major promoter of U.S. West Coast rap.

Snoop Dogg, who has sold over 17 million records, had 28 days to give a reason why he should be allowed into Australia, Andrews said.

"He has been denied entry into the United Kingdom because he was caught with others causing a fray at Heathrow airport," Andrews said. Snoop Dogg was arrested during a fight at London's Heathrow airport last year.

Snoop Dogg was also arrested last October after police at Burbank Airport, near Los Angeles, stopped him and found a gun and marijuana in his car. Prosecutors have said they were unable to prove that the gun found in his car that day belonged to him, but that a later search of his home turned up another firearm.

The performer is charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm because of a 1990 felony conviction for possession of drugs for sale.

In November, Snoop Dogg was charged with possession of a deadly weapon after police found him carrying a collapsible baton through security at Orange County's John Wayne Airport. That case is still pending.

In March, Stockholm police arrested Broadus for suspected narcotics use.