Making of the 'Grammy kid'
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.
IN the early 1990s, Jamaican radio was saturated by dancehall music, but the sound desperately needed a star to break it in the
That star turned out to be Shabba Ranks.
The deejay won back-to-back Grammy Awards in 1992 and 1993 for Best Reggae Album with As Raw as Ever and X-tra Naked.
Shabba, who was signed to Sony Music affiliate Epic Records, had an impressive run on the Billboard charts with songs from both albums.
Released in May 1991, As Raw as Ever was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and nominated for Best Reggae Album along with Iron Storm by Black Uhuru; Gumption (Bunny Wailer); We Must Carry On (Rita Marley); Victims (Steel Pulse) and Jahmekya by Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers.
As Raw as Ever was co-produced by the hottest names of the day: Mikey Bennett, Steely and Clevie, Bobby 'Digital' Dixon and rapper KRS-One.
Among the musicians who worked on it were Paul 'Wrong Move' Crossdale, Michael Fletcher, Handel Tucker, Earl 'Chinna' Smith, Stephen 'Cat' Coore, Sly Dunbar and George 'Dusty' Miller.
The album topped Billboard's R&B Album chart; reached number 89 on the magazine's Top 200 Album chart; and number 51 on the UK Album chart.
It produced hit songs in House Call (featuring Maxi Priest), which went number 31 on the UK pop chart; number four on the Billboard R&B Singles chart and number 37 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Jam with KRS-One went number one on the Billboard Rap Singles chart while Trailer Load of Girls peaked at number 63 in the UK.
X-tra Naked went up against Committed by Third World, All Over the World (Wailing Souls), Rastafari Centennial: Live in Paris- Elysee Montmartre (Steel Pulse), and Breakout by Jimmy Cliff.
Released in October 1992, X-tra Naked was certified gold in the US. The album got to number 38 on the UK Album chart, number 11 on the R&B Album chart, and number 64 on Billboard's 200 Album chart.
Its hit single was the gold seller Slow and Sexy with R&B singer Johnny Gill. It was produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, best known for their work with Janet Jackson.