MORE than 100 stalwarts of the Jamaican music industry were recognised on Wednesday evening at the Reggae Gold Awards, which celebrated the genre’s 50th anniversary.
The National Indoor Sports Centre in St Andrew was a galaxy of stars from yesteryear to the present, who were grateful to be acknowledged for their contribution in taking the music to the world.
The awards were presented in five categories — The Hall of Fame, Honour Award, Media Award, Icon Award, and Reggae Gold Award. The presentations kicked off with Hall of Fame inductees — 20 persons who made their mark on post-Independence Jamaican music.
Former Prime Minister Edward Seaga was the first inductee and he engaged the audience by dancing to ska as he made his way to the stage. Other persons in this category were singer/songwriter Bob Andy; toasters U-Roy and Big Youth; Randy’s Record Store and VP Records, singer/musician Boris Gardiner, Toots Hibbert; Ken Khouri, owner of Federal Records; Leslie Kong of Beverly’s Records; bandleader Byron Lee; ska king Derrick Morgan; veteran producer and artiste Lee “Scratch” Perry; Reggae Sunsplash — Jamaica’s first reggae festival; Alpha Boy’s School; band leader Carlos Malcolm; former prime minister and artiste manager PJ Patterson; Burning Spear, musician Rico Rodgriques, and singer Millie Small.
Ten Icons were recognised: Prince Buster, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Arthur “Duke” Reid, Clement “Sir Coxson” Dodd, Don Drummond, Ernie Smith, Chris Blackwell, and Jimmy Cliff.
Ten individuals received the Honour Award. Artiste, producer and emcee Tommy Cowan, music producer Bobby “Bobby Digital” Dixon; percussionist Bongo Herman; Fab 5 Band; singer/music producer Derrick Harriot; music producer Robert Livingstone; keyboardist Robbie Lyn, singer Ernie Smith, Dancehall Queen Carlene; and musicians Dave Barker and Ansel Collins.
Ten media entities and personalities were also recognised. The Jamaica Observer’s Balford Henry and fellow journalists Howard McGowan and Julian “Jingles” Reynolds; reggae radio station Irie FM, broadcasters Barry “Barry G” Gordon and Elaine Wint; graphic artist Neville Garrick; musicologist and historian Garth White; Radio Jamaica librarian, the late Cecile Wilson, and John Swaby.
he night’s biggest category was the Reggae Gold, which saw 50 individuals and groups being awarded.
Capleton, Tony Rebel, Charlie Chaplin, Ken Boothe, Gussie Clarke, Sizzla, Beenie Man, Sly and Robbie, Copeland Forbes, Yellowman, Dean Fraser, Donovan Germain, Marcia Griffiths, Jackie Jackson, Lloyd “King Jammy’s” James, Aston “Family Man” Barrett, Carlton Barrett, Black Uhuru, Shaggy, Dennis Brown, Desmond Dekker, Alton Ellis, Shabba Ranks, Joseph Hoo Kim, Lady Saw (Marion Hall), Inner Circle, Gregory Isaacs, The I-Three, Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, Stephen Marley, Judy Mowatt, Freddie McGregor, Sugar Minott, Mutabaruka, Buju Banton, Lloyd Parks and We The People Band, Stone Love, Bounty Killer, Ruff Kutt Band, Sister Nancy, The Heptones, Earl “Chinna” Smith, Josey Wales, Third World, Rita Marley, The Mighty Diamonds, Brigadier Jerry, Oku Onura, and Beres Hammond.
The evening’s special guest was Ernesto Ottone Ramírez, assistant director-general for culture at the United Nation’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), who presented culture minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange with the official certificate declaring the inscription of reggae as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.