Bittersweet Grammy for Buju

Bittersweet Grammy for Buju

Kevin Jackson

Friday, January 24, 2014

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The Grammy Awards are scheduled for January 26 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Five nominees (Beres Hammond, Ziggy Marley, Sizzla, Snoop Lion, and Sly and Robbie) are up for Best Reggae Album. Leading up to the big event, the Jamaica Observer presents a daily reflection on the reggae category. Today, we highlight Buju Banton's Before the Dawn.

AT the 53rd Grammy Awards in February 2011, Buju Banton's Before the Dawn won the Best Reggae Album category. It was a bittersweet victory.

Revelation by Lee 'Scratch 'Perry, Isaacs Meets Isaac (Gregory Isaacs and King Isaac), Made in Jamaica (Bob Sinclar and Sly and Robbie), One Pop Reggae (Sly & Robbie and the Taxi Family), and Legacy: An Acoustic Tribute to Peter Tosh (Andrew Tosh) were the other nominees.

Banton's Grammy win came one day before his second court trial on drug and firearms trafficking began in a Tampa, Florida, Federal court.

He was eventually found guilty and is serving a 10-year prison sentence.

The 10-track Before the Dawn was produced by Banton's Gargamel Music label and released in September 2010. It was the singjay's fifth Grammy nomination.

His previous nominations were for Inna Heights (1999), Friends for Life (2004), Too Bad (2007) and 2010's Rasta Got Soul.

Banton's last live performance before the trial was at a Before the Dawn concert at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami on January 16, 2011. It was held to raise funds to pay his mounting legal fees.

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