NEW YORK, USA — Veteran entertainers Beres Hammond and Jimmy Cliff were each awarded Congressional Proclamations in recognition of their contributions to the development of Jamaica's music.
The two — along with Beenie Man who performed at Grooving in the Park concert held in the Roy Wilkins Park two Sundays ago — were also awarded citations by the New York City Council.
Congresswoman Yvette D Clarke handed out the proclamations, while the citations were presented by Councilman Leroy Comrie and other members of the Queens and Brooklyn delegations on the New York City Council.
The awards came at the end of high-powered performances by the three entertainers.
American singer Gladys Knight and the group Boyz ll Men, who performed at the concert, were also presented with Congressional Proclamations.
For Beenie Man, the occasion was special as it marked the first time in two-and-a-half years that he was performing in the United States due to problems securing a work permit.
He did not disappoint his legion of fans.
At one point, he had the audience in sustained applause when he said he was the only "dancehall artiste performing today." He also paid tribute to his incarcerated colleagues Buju Banton ands Vybz Kartel.
A fit and young-looking Jimmy Cliff used the occasion to remind the audience of his hit songs which pioneered Jamaica's early music. The veteran entertainer reeled off golden hits such as Many Rivers to Cross, I Can See Clearly Now, Vietnam, and My Miss Jamaica to the delight of a large and appreciative crowd.
Beres Hammond, like his two Jamaican counterparts, delivered to audience's delight.
He elicited roars of approvals as he went through popular numbers such as She Loves Me Now, Double Trouble, Can You Play Some More, What a Night, Feel Good and Rockaway.
The crowd went wild when he invited Beenie Man on stage and the two did a brief stint.