Proving yet again to be a chip off the old block – or in this case a strike off the old gong – Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, son of the legendary Bob “Tuff Gong” Marley, did his iconic father proud when he snagged the Entertainer of the Year award at the 32nd annual International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) at the Coral Springs Centre for the Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday.
Marley, who also bagged another award for “Make It Bun Them,” his collaboration with electronic artist Skrillex, was also one of three artists who took home two awards each, with Tarrus Riley copping the Best Male Vocalist and Most Cultural/Educational Entertainer, and Mr Vegas winning the Best Song for “Sweet Jamaica” and Best Music Video for “Bruk It Down”.
Reggae icon Jimmy Cliff, who nabbed the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album with “Rebirth” earlier this year, also scored at IRAWMA in the Best Album category, while the Best Female Vocalist award went to Etana.
In a ceremony packed with the brightest stars in reggae and dancehall, awards were also presented to Richie Stephens, Konshens, Lady Saw, Mutabaruka, Morgan Heritage, Freddie McGregor, Romain Virgo, Dean Fraser, Third World and Stephen “De Genius” McGregor.
Flying the flag for Barbados was soca diva Alison Hinds, who picked up Best Calypso/Soca Entertainer, while Best Haitian Compas/World Music Entertainer went to Tropicana D.
International winners included Jay-Z (Best R&B – Hip-Hop Entertainer), Pitbull (Best Latin Entertainer), P Square (Best African Entertainer) and Heavy Hammer (Most Popular Sound System).
The Marley Family picked up the Royal Ambassador of Reggae World Music title, while former Jamaica Prime Minister Edward Seaga, Inner Circle, Duckie Simpson and Lloyd “Joe Fraser” Campbell were inducted into the Lifetime Hall of Fame. The Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award was presented to Capleton.
The list of awardees follows:
Bob Marley Award for Entertainer of the Year – Damian Marley
Best Male Vocalist – Tarrus Riley
Best Female Vocalist – Etana
Best Song – Mr Vegas “Sweet Jamaica”
Most Outstanding Show Band/Group – Morgan Heritage
Best Album – Jimmy Cliff
Best Crossover Song – Skrillex & Damian Marley
Best Gospel Oriented Song – Richie Stephens
Best Male DJ/Rapper – Konshens
Best Female DJ/Rapper – Lady Saw
Best New Entertainer – Wyre
Best Calypso/Soca Entertainer – Alison Hinds
Best Latin Entertainer – Pitbull
Best African Entertainer – P Square
Best Soukous Entertainer – Papa Wemba
Best R&B – Hip Hop Entertainer – Jay Z
Best reggae Rock Entertainer – Collie Buddz & New Kingston
Best Chutney Entertainer – Rikki Jai
Best Music Video – Mr Vegas
Best Poet/Spoken Words – Mutaburuka
Most Cultural/Educational Entertainer – Tarrus Riley
Most Consistent Entertainer – Freddie McGregor
Most Promising Entertainer – Romain Virgo
Best Instrumental – Dean Fraser
Most Popular Sound System – Heavy Hammer (Italy)
Concert of the Year – Reggae Sunfest
Most Outstanding Dance group – X Klusiv Dancers
Best Haitian Compas/World Music Entertainer – Tropicana D
Best Caribbean Entertainer – Third World
Producer of the Year – Steven “Di Genius” McGregor
Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award – Capleton
Royal Ambassador of Reggae World Music – The Marley Family