Gardiner basks in the Moonlight

BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor Auto & Entertainment

Monday, February 27, 2017

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DESPITE an embarrassing mix-up, Moonlight was named the big winner at Sunday’s Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

It took home Best Picture, best supporting actor (Mahershala Ali), and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The film’s soundtrack boasts the 1973 song, Every Nigger Is A Star, by singer-musician Boris Gardiner. It was released last year by Lakeshore Records.

Moonlight has Jamaican roots. British actress Naomie Harris, who stars in the film, was nominated for best supporting actress; her mother is Jamaican and father from Trinidad and Tobago.

Gardiner said he had not seen the movie but was happy it did well.

"It’s nice to know my name is associated with an Oscar-winning movie. To me, that song had a lot of meaning... the lyrics are powerful. It’s about turning a negative into a positive," he told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Directed by Barry Jenkins, Moonlight is based on the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney. Filmed in Florida, Moonlight was released on October 21 and has grossed US$23.3 million.

Gardiner co-wrote Every Nigger Is A Star with his older brother, Barrington. The song first featured in the 1973 film,
Every Nigger Is A Star, which starred Bahamian actor Calvin Lockhart.

"Unfortunately, it flopped, as it was more of a documentary than a film... However, collectors hunted down the song. Year before last, Kendrick Lamar sampled the track and it became a hit. I do hope I’ll be able to retire on it," said Gardiner, who is in his 70s.

Lamar sampled Every Nigger Is A Star in the song Wesley’s Theory, which is on his platinum-selling, Grammy-winning album To Pimp A Butterfly.

Gardiner, a respected session musician, played on numerous hit songs including The Heptones’ Equal Rights and
Nanny Goat by Larry and Alvin.

As a singer, he had hits with It’s So Nice To Be With You, I Want To Wake Up With You (number one on the UK pop chart in 1986), and The Meaning of Christmas.


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