Return of Ladies in Reggae 2008

The Return of LADIES IN REGGAE

by Lloyd Stanbury

Millie Small - the 1st Female Reggae Star
Millie Small – the 1st Reggae Star to Sell a Million Records!

Kingston, Jamaica – In the early days of Jamaican popular music, our female singers and songwriters played a major role in propelling our music onto the world stage. In fact, the first major international Jamaican hit recording was by one of Jamaica’s female pioneers, Millie Small, with her 1964 million-selling single “My Boy Lollipop.” Its success opened the doors for such artists as Phyllis Dillon, Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt, Hortense Ellis, Pam Hall, Rita Marley, Carlene Davis, J.C. Lodge, Cynthia Schloss, Lorna Bennett, Dawn Penn, Sheila Hylton, and Nadine Sutherland, all of whom established themselves as mainstream recording and performing artists.

Etana - New Generation of Powerful Female Singers
Etana – New Generation of Powerful Female Singers

For some strange reason, however, the early achievements of our female artists did not result in the kind of follow-through seen by their male counterparts. For many years, we have failed to produce top-class female Reggae recording artists and performers. With the exception of the local and international successes of Diana King, Patra, Sasha, Foxy Brown, and Lady Saw, female Reggae and Dancehall artists have become a very scarce commodity over the last 25 years. Continue reading

Bob Marley: Feb. 6 Survival 76 Celebrations

Bob Marley’s Earthday Celebrations Set for Feb. 6, 2021

Bob Marley 76 Earthday logo

There are several birthday celebrations leading up to Marley’s 76th Birthday on February 6, including a global virtual birthday celebration hosted by Cedella MarleySongs of Freedom: The Island Years and a Bob Marley Tribute Livestream

In lieu of the live annual birthday celebration that usually occurs at the Bob Marley Museum every year, Cedella Marley will be hosting a global virtual event for Bob Marley’s 76th birthday on February 6.  Inspired by Bob Marley’s most militant album, Cedella, the Marley family, friends, and fans worldwide will celebrate Bob Marley’s 76th Earthstrong under the theme, SURVIVAL.

The virtual celebration will mimic the usual festivities beginning at 7 am ET, including messages from the family, a Miami Performance Mash-up featuring the Marley brothers and third-generation

Bob Marley
Bob Marley – mid’70s

Marleys, Survival Cypher performance featuring Skip MarleyJo Mersa, Tifa, Kabaka Pyramid, Agent Sasco, and Tanya StephensMore Family Time with Ziggy Marley, Memorial Tributes for Toots Hibbert and Betty Wright.

Also,  performances from Papa Michigan, Richie SpiceBeenie Man, and more, plus “In the Marley Kitchen” featuring Chefs Brian Lumley and Kush McDonald, story reading, yoga, a children’s sing-a-long and much more.  The virtual celebration will also feature video tribute messages from family, friends, fellow musicians, and artists from around the world.

To watch Marley’s 76th Birthday SURVIVAL festivities on Bob Marley’s official YouTube channel, and for more upcoming content celebrating Bob’s legacy & contributions to the world, click HERE.

Buju, Koffee & Skip Score NAACP Award Nods

Buju Banton, Koffee & Skip Marley Score Nods For 2021 NAACP Image Awards

Buju Banton
Buju Banton

Jamaica is well represented in the recently announced slate of NAACP Image Awards nominees. Dancehall legend Buju Banton and last year’s Grammy Award winner Koffee have both secured two nominations each for the Awards, while Reggae singer Skip Marley has earned one nod from the US-based civil rights organization.

Skip Marley
Skip Marley
Koffee
Koffee

In the Outstanding International Song category, Buju Banton has earned one nod for Blessed which appears on his Upside Down 2020 album. His second nomination in the same category was received for the Pressure (Remix) with Koffee, who also secured her second nod with the hit song Lockdown. Nigerian singers Davido and Tiwa Savage were also nominated in the category.

Meanwhile, Skip Marley‘s Higher Place from his EP of the same name earned him one nomination in the Outstanding New Artist category alongside Chika, Doja Cat, D Smoke, and Giveon. Marley wrote on Twitter yesterday that he was honored to be included among this group of nominees.

The 52nd annual ceremony will be simulcast on March 27 at 8 p.m. ET across Viacom CBS Networks.

~From Dancehallmag.com.  Click here for more details.

Third World & Pat Chin to Receive Reggae Icon Awards in S. Florida

CITY OF MIRAMAR CELEBRATES ‘BLACK HISTORY MEETS REGGAE’ MONTH

Reggae Ambassadors Third Word and pioneering businesswoman Patricia Chin, co-founder of VP Records, are the recipients of this year’s Reggae Icon Awards, presented by City of Miramar Commissioner Alexandra P. Davis. The Marcus Garvey Award will be presented to Attorney/Community Activist, Alexandra Audate, a member of the Black Lives Matter Alliance of Broward. The presentation creggae month 2021 calendareremony takes place on Sat., February 27, 6:00 p.m. at the Miramar Amphitheater, Miramar, FL.

Commissioner Davis stated, “Third World and Miss Patricia Chin have made groundbreaking contributions to Reggae music and I am happy to be honoring them with the prestigious Reggae Icon Awards this year.  The City of Miramar has planned a series of events to celebrate Black History Month and Reggae Month under the theme “Black History Meets Reggae”. The Reggae Icon Award, initiated by Commissioner Davis in 2019, recognizes the valuable contribution of notable individuals to Reggae music while the Marcus Garvey Award recognizes a local champion in the fight for equality and justice among minorities.

third world
Third World at Dab Fest, Miami Beach

Third World is one of the longest-existing Reggae bands, with nine Grammy nominations and a catalog of charted smash hits (including “Now That We Found Love,” ”96 Degrees in the Shade,” and “Try Jah Love” ) spanning four decades, sold-out tours, a vibrant and loyal fan base, and inspirational messages.

Miss Pat Chin VP Records
Miss Pat

Patricia “Miss Pat” Chin, matriarch of VP Records, built a Reggae empire in Kingston alongside her late husband Vincent “Randy” Chin.  Randy’s Record Mart and Studio 17 are where the careers of artists from Bob Marley & the Wailers to Augustus Pablo toToots & the Maytals began. After moving to New York in 1978, they opened VP Records, which has grown to become “the world’s largest Reggae label.”

The Reggae Icon Awards presentation ceremony is free to the public and all CDC COVID-19 guidelines will be observed.


A Reggae Reunion at New York’s Jerk Fest 2019

MPeggyQ & Miss Pat, Jerk Fest 2019
Reggae Report’s MPeggyQ, SoFla Reggae Pioneer, Meets Up with VP’s matriarch Miss Pat at the Queen’s Jerk Fest 2019

Jamaica’s Reggae Month 2021

Welcome to the 14th Annual

reggae month 2021 calendar2021’s theme is ‘Come Ketch de Riddim Virtually’ and is presented by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports (MCGES). Sponsors include the Jamaica Tourist Board, the Tourism Enhancement Fund, the Ministry of Tourism, JCDC, and JaRIA.

Here’s what you need to know about Reggae Month:

“Reggae Month was officially proclaimed and first staged in 2008, spearheaded by the Ministry of Culture and powered by the Jamaican Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA).

The focus of Reggae Month is “edutainment”, highlighting Jamaica’s musical history and heritage. The annual celebration has been a success, attracting on average 40,000 attendees each year. This success is made possible by the overwhelming support of media partners and music industry practitioners, in addition to dedicated government and corporate sponsors who share the Reggae Month vision. Continue reading

The Night Bob Marley Was Shot – Dec. 3, 1976

The Night Bob Marley Was Shot

Excerpt from new oral history ‘So Much Things to Say’ tells the story of harrowing 1976 ambush at Tuff Gong
By Roger Steffens 
(What follows is an excerpt from a Rolling Stone, July 7, 2017, article, edited for size) 

Roger Steffens: Friday, December 3, dawned hot and humid. Mem­bers of the Wailers Band gathered at Tuff Gong late that afternoon to rehearse for the upcoming concert.

bob marley shot newspaperJudy Mowatt: I had a vision a few days before the shooting. Marcia left; she didn’t feel too good about that concert. Like she had a premo­nition that something could happen, or she heard something and she left the island. Rita and myself had been going to rehearsals. So one night I went to my bed and I dreamt that this rooster, it was a rooster with three chickens, and the rooster got shot, and the shot ricocheted and damaged two of the chickens. I even saw like one of the chicken’s tripe inside, the intestines come out. And I didn’t like it, and I told it to Rita and Rita knew about it. But we were looking out for something. Because usually, how the Africa woman understands, a lot of times we depend on our dreams. We know that when you dream, if it’s not so, it’s close to what it is. So we were expecting something to happen. And then again, I went to my bed. I never mentioned this – but I went to my bed again and I saw in the newspaper where Bob sang that song “Smile Jamaica” and that was the song that created a controversy because of certain lyrics that he had in it that was like a then political slogan: Regardless, you control your state of being, so smile, because the power’s ours. The victory’s ours.

bob marley shot at hospitalRoger Steffens: The forebodings came true in the midst of rehears­als around 8:30 in the evening. Two white Datsun compacts drove through the gates of Tuff Gong, from which the longtime guards had mysteriously disappeared. The exact number of gunmen who came leaping out, guns blazing, is a subject of controversy. There could have been as many as seven or eight, armed with machine guns and pistols, some reportedly containing homemade bullets. They went room to room, often firing wildly. Continue reading

How to [Maybe] Get a Reggae Grammy Nomination

The GRAMMY Nomination Process Simplified

By M. Peggy Quattro

Grammy Award and Logo

Since 1958, the GRAMMYs have celebrated music excellence. It is the music community’s highest honor & its only peer-based award.

The GRAMMY is awarded to musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers, & industry professionals.

Inside Jamaica’s Reggae community, there’s always much discussion about the USA GRAMMY Awards, especially the highly coveted Best Reggae Album Award.

Ever since the first Reggae GRAMMY went to Black Uhuru in 1985 (when it was called Best Reggae Recording), there’s been dissension in the Reggae family, along with confusion, arguments, debates, & disagreements surrounding why someone was nominated…or why not.

Let’s start with some facts: currently, there are  30 fields (General, Pop, Rock, Reggae, etc.) to be considered, as well as 84 distinct award categories across those fields. The Reggae category is for “an album containing at least 51% playing time of new Reggae recordings.”

To be clear, I am not an Academy member or a Reggae GRAMMY expert. However, I join others who are interested in how the “final five” selection comes about. So, I set out to educate myself & now I can share what I’ve learned with you.

What follows is information on the Recording Academy, how to join, & the GRAMMY Nomination process. Academy links are provided for more info. I truly hope this helps answer the countless questions as to how, when, who, and why a Reggae album ultimately acquires this sought-after recognition.


FIRSTLY – JOIN THE ACADEMY

Like the GRAMMY Awards, Recording Academy membership is community-driven & peer-reviewed on an annual cycle. Pay attention to the dates & deadlines!

You must be invited to join. To be considered for an invitation:

  1. Get two strong recommendations from music industry peers. (Click this link to learn how to get recommendations.)
  2. Your profile is completed only after your recommendations are received by the Academy & you tell them more about your career.* Profiles must be complete by midnight on March 1 to be considered for that year’s class.
    *Candidates will receive an email with a link & candidate code to complete their career profile.

New member submissions are considered by the Recording Academy’s Peer Review Panel each spring, & will approve memberships at its sole discretion after assessing your submission. 

Grammy Award photo If approved by Peer Review, candidates are invited to join the Recording Academy by July 9 and have until that year’s GRAMMY Awards voting deadline to accept.

*Become a Recording Academy member here*

 THE WHO & HOW

Who can enter recordings for consideration? Do I qualify?

The Recording Academy accepts entries online from Professional & Voting Members, as well as registered media companies. Members are permitted to submit their own eligible recordings as well as the recordings of their peers for consideration.

How do media companies submit product for GRAMMY consideration?

Record labels, distribution companies & management firms qualify as media companies. Media companies must register with the Recording Academy every year to submit/enter recordings. Once your media company registration has been confirmed, the Awards department will send the media company’s designated administrator detailed submission instructions.  More Academy FAQ’s here.


“The Reggae GRAMMY Category does need some change. But change won’t happen if Reggae artists are on the menu…but NOT at the table.”  ~Barbara Johnson, Media Exec


Read This Interesting  Committee Background

I highly recommend you read this clip from a 2014 article by friend, writer & major Dancehall & Reggae enthusiast ROB “Boomshots” KENNER. He tells of his experience as an Academy Screening Committee member while raising a few very interesting questions. (More on the process below.)

ROB:  “[The] screening committee goes through every single album that had been submitted—usually by record labels, but sometimes by members of the Recording Academy. (In a category like reggae, where much of the music is produced by smaller independent labels who may not be familiar with the GRAMMY entry process, the best records are sometimes not even submitted.)

“Members of that committee were not supposed to concern ourselves with quality—our job was to determine whether each album belonged in the reggae category. The rules stated that 51% of the album’s tracks had to consist of reggae music (a genre that includes such disparate styles as roots reggae, ska, dub, and dancehall.)


“…Famous people tend to get more votes from clueless Academy members, regardless of the quality of their work.”


“…Famous people tend to get more votes from clueless Academy members, regardless of the quality of their work. This is especially true in specialized categories like reggae…That’s the reason why famous names like Marley, Toots, and Sly & Robbie stand a much better chance of winning in the reggae category than, say, Beres Hammond.

[Rob soon paid his membership fee and joined the Recording Academy as a voting member. His story continues:] “Here’s how the process works: Voting members review lists of all the eligible recordings in each category (the ones generated by screening committees like mine.)

“Members are supposed to vote only in their fields of expertise—and in a maximum of 9 out of the 31 fields on the ballot… A few categories are reserved for special nominating committees, but frankly—not enough… In the final voting process, members are allowed to vote in even more categories—up to 20, plus the 4 general categories.

“Bottom line: the vast majority of the nominations are chosen by people who have little real expertise in a given field. I refrained from voting in heavy metal and classical because I know very little about those genres. But I could have if I wanted to, and that strikes me as a problem.”   Read Rob’s entire 2014 Complex.com article here.


“We don’t need a dancehall category…that would set us back…people are being fooled about separating dancehall from reggae…We’re always trying to create something instead of focusing on what we have and building that.” ~Ibo Cooper, JaRia


NOW, HERE’S THE PROCESS…

SUBMISSION
It begins with members & record companies submitting entries, which are then screened for eligibility and category placement. The Academy’s voting members, all involved in the creative & technical processes of recording, then participate in (1) the nominating process that determines the five finalists in each category; & (2) the final voting process which determines the GRAMMY winners.

SCREENING
After review by 350 experts in various fields, the screening committee places the album in its proper category. No artistic or technical judgments about the recordings are made. The entries move on to the nominating committee.

NOMINATING
First-round ballots are sent to voting members in good dues standing. To help ensure the quality of the voting, members are directed to vote only in their areas of expertise; they may vote in up to 15 categories in the genre fields plus the four categories of the General Field (Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, & Best New Artist.) Ballots are tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Deloitte.

FINAL VOTING   (Note: This is where I’m a little confused. The Reggae category is not sent to a Nominations Review Committee–see graphic below–before the final vote. The Reggae nominees selected from the first nominating committee go right to final vote, with no review. Maybe someone reading this can explain it to us.)grammy voting graphic Final-round ballots are then sent to voting members in good dues standing. In this final round, Recording Academy members may vote in up to 15 categories in the genre fields plus the four categories of the General Field.

So good people, that’s how it’s done!


More Helpful Info:

Key Dates for 2020-2021

  • Sept. 1, 2019—Aug. 31, 2020Product Eligibility Period
  • Sept. 30—Oct. 12, 2020: First-Round Voting—eligible members vote to determine the 2021 nominees!
  • Nov. 24: Nominations Announcement!
  • Dec. 7, 2020—Jan. 4, 202: Final-Round Voting—this round determines the GRAMMY winners!
  • Jan. 31, 2021: 63rd GRAMMY Awards & Premiere Ceremony (8 p.m.CBS)

Check it! Recent Academy Changes

You will notice that any terms that include the word urban* have been removed from category titles. The Recording Academy stated in November 2020 “that describing music as ‘urban’ and ‘urban contemporary’ has ‘historically been used as a way to separate Black artists’ from the (white) artistic mainstream.”
*Exception, one Latin category… go figure. 

2020 grammy award logoOther changes announced involve Best New Artist parameters & taking a closer look at all possible conflicts of interest.

Interestingly, “the Academy members who serve on its so-called nomination reviews committees, which determine the final nominees in most award categories, must disclose any connections they have to potentially nominated artists and projects.”

“Two glaring disclosures only now being asked are:  (1) Do you have any “immediate family ties” to a potential nominee? And (2) Will you as a voter, have any “direct or indirect financial ties” to a project or artist under consideration?”

But, as with all vague changes & GRAMMY nominations, there are questions, controversies, and contention. 

LASTLY – ABOUT PROMOTION

Labels, artists & media companies are welcome to promote their album but must follow these Voting & Solicitation Guidelines, i.e., voters may not accept money or anything of value for a vote, no agreement to trade votes, & voters must not be influenced in any other way other than their own analysis of merit.


I hope this helps you understand the GRAMMY Awards nomination & voting process. If you like this info or have a question, say so in the comments below.

1♥

 

Reggae History…'80s & '90s…Read the Music!