STING, Wyclef Jean, and Fetty Wap are the international acts to headline the 2018 staging of the biennial charity event Shaggy & Friends — the concert slated for the grounds of Jamaica House in St Andrew on Saturday, January 6.
Shaggy made the announcement at a launch held at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in St Andrew yesterday.“Sting was a no-brainer. He and I had done a song together and we have been friends for a long time. We were doing some work here and there and I just said: ‘How about coming to Jamaica?’ And I will tell you a crazy story right now. Every Breath You Take, which is Sting’s biggest song, was written right here in Jamaica… at GoldenEye. A lot a people don’t know that. Jamaica holds a very dear place in his heart. It will be his first time performing here… so a real no-brainer. As far as Wyclef is concerned… Clef is almost Jamaican, so it was easy. Clef and I have had a great relationship for years. Fetty and I see each other here and there and a mutual contact told him about the concert. He just came and check me out and said I will be there for that,” Shaggy told the Jamaica Observer.
“It’s hard to get international acts on board. It’s not the same sentiment… they just don’t connect. So everyone I go to I ask them: ‘What is your charity?’ and offer myself in return for their performance, but it doesn’t always work out for various reasons. This year we just were very lucky with these three,” he continued.
A number of other acts are booked to take to the stage which raises funds for the Bustamante Hospital for Children — the only paediatric hospital of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean. The artistes scheduled to appear are Trinidad and Tobago’s Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons, Christopher Martin, Aidonia, Dexta Daps, Junior Reid, Shenseea, Barrington Levy, Third World, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Capleton, Professor Nuts, and Wayne Wonder.
This will be the sixth staging of the initiative since it started in 2009. Shaggy, through his Make A Difference Foundation, has donated more than 450 pieces of equipment worth over US$1.6 million to the hospital.
At yesterday’s briefing, the spirit of philanthropy flowed freely as sponsor Scotiabank handed over a cheque of $5 million, while Mr and Mrs Francois Challifour made a donation of US$30,000.
In an emotional moment, Audrey Spence recounted the pain, agony, but ultimate joy, when her sick son, 10-year-old Ray-Marc Robinson, was made well, thanks to equipment purchased by the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation.
Over the years a slew of top class local and international acts have performed at the event, including Lauryn Hill, En Vogue, Boyz II Men, Deniece Williams, Macy Grey, Ashanti, Ne-Yo, Sean Kingston, Omi, Rock City, Machel Montano, Elephant Man, Beenie Man, and Bounty Killer.