Canada honours the 'Thrillers'
BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer staff reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
THE Grace Thrillers will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the second Canadian Caribbean Gospel Music Awards, slated for the Mount Zion Apostolic Church in Toronto on June 14.
According to Howard Mahoney, event conceptualiser, the influential group deserves the honour.
"The Grace Thrillers are the forerunners for Caribbean gospel music. Most Caribbean gospel artistes have patterned themselves off their work.
The Grace Thrillers have been more than a group but an institution," Mahoney told the Jamaica Observer.
Noel Willis formed The 'Thrillers' in 1971. They hit their stride during the 1980s when their songs such as Living Waters (Jesus Jesus) and Can't Even Walk won them a large secular following.
At different stages, members included Shirley Willis, George Banton, Leroy Smith and Sandra Brooks.
The Canada Caribbean Gospel Music Awards will recognise performers in a number of categories including Best Album, Best Song, Best Male and Female Artiste, Best Group, Best Choir and International Artiste of the Year.
"We are using the theme RAP, which is Recognizing, Appreciating and Promoting Canadian Caribbean Gospel Artistes. We believe that in Canada there are dozens of Caribbean gospel artistes that haven't gotten the opportunity to be recognised on an international basis, so we will be showcasing at least 20 Canadian Caribbean gospel artistes," said Mahoney.