2012: Dancehall style

Simone Morgan

Friday, January 11, 2013

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IT was not a commercially rewarding year for dancehall in 2012.

Some critics deemed the genre as dying.

SoundScan (the American company that provides music sales data) reported that dancehall music floundered in 2012.

In a recent interview with the Jamaica Observer, CEO of Penthouse Records Donovan Germain warned of even more dire times if dancehall acts and producers continue to produce mediocre music.

The Good

Romain Virgo

Seemed to mature with every performance. In addition to chart-topping singles, the singer toured the Caribbean, Japan and sections of the United States and Europe.

Tommy Lee Sparta

Love or loathe him, his name was hot in the dancehall. Largely through his 'demon' image and clashes with Bounty Killer, the former Portmore Empire artiste stayed in the news.


Had hit singles, overseas gigs and was in demand by producers at home and abroad. In March, his song Only Man She Want peaked at Number 89 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop chart.


Maintained a path to the big time with songs like Gyal a Bubble, Sidung, Do Sumn and Touch Regular.


Oneil Edwards

Two years after his death, police are yet to make an arrest in the shooting death of the Voicemail singer. The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica's (PSOJ) Crime Stop initiative has offered a $100,000 reward "for information leading to the arrest and charge of those responsible".

Busy Signal

The deejay pleaded guilty to absconding bail in the United States 10 years ago. In May, he was arrested at the Norman Manley International Airport on an extradition warrant from US authorities.

He served two months of a six-month prison sentence in a US federal prison. Released in November, Busy Signal made a triumphant return at Sting on Boxing Day.

Captain Barkey

In October, dancehall mourned the deejay who gained fame with the 1996 hit, Go Go Wine. Barkey, 50, was shot dead along with his female companion, 38 year-old Tracey Bennet, in the parking lot of a New York motel.

Vybz Kartel

The embattled deejay observed his first year in prison. He was granted bail for the murder of Barrington Burton, cleared of ganja charges in June, and given bail in November for perverting the course of justice.

However, he remains in police custody for his alleged role in the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams.





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