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Celebrating Reggae’s Legacy
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding made February 2008 the first annual Reggae Month in Jamaica. To celebrate, the Recording Industry Association of Jamaica (RIAJam) held its first Reggae Academy Awards on February 24, 2008. In addition, Reggae Month included a six-day Global Reggae conference, a reggae film festival, two radio station award functions, and a concert tribute to the late Dennis Brown, who Bob Marley cited as his favorite singer.
Facts an’ T’ings
The month of February was selected to commemorate Reggae Month as both the King (Bob Marley) and the Prince (Dennis Brown) of Reggae were born during the month. Third World’s William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clarke OD was also born in February, sharing the same day (the 6th) with Bob Marley, OM.
Reggae Month is celebrated every year with a different theme. For 2019, the theme is ‘Celebrating Reggae’s Legacy’.
In 1984, the Grammy Awards added the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Recording presented to artists for eligible albums. Black Uhuru would win the first-ever Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 1985 for their album ‘Anthem’. The name of the award was changed to Best Reggae Album beginning with the 1992 ceremony.
This year’s award went to Sting & Shaggy for their album ‘44/876’. Ziggy Marley holds the record for the most Grammy Award wins in this category, with seven wins as of 2017.
Despite his iconic status, Bob Marley never won a Grammy award. Why? The Best Reggae Recording category was added in 1984, three years after his death.
Bob Marley’s last words were ‘On your way up, take me up. On your way down, don’t let me down’. Those words can be heard on Ziggy’s 2008 song entitled ‘Won’t Let You Down’. Respect!
‘The Harder They Come’, the 1972 Jamaican crime film directed by Perry Henzell and co-written by Trevor D. Rhone, and starring Jimmy Cliff, was the first feature film ever produced in Jamaica.
In this cult-classic film, Jimmy Cliff plays ‘Ivanhoe “Ivan” Martin’, a young Jamaican man with dreams of becoming a reggae star who finds himself at odds with the police, drug traffickers & corrupt music producers.