Rexton ‘Shabba Ranks’ Gordon was last night honoured on the Sumfest stage at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay for his contribution to reggae and dancehall.
The award came after a blistering performance which showed vintage Shabba at his best.
For over one hour he went through his mega hits keeping the crowd on their feet.
The award was presented to the deejay courtesy of culture minister Lisa Hanna.
An emotional Shabba, after thanking the organisers, called his wife Michelle on stage to share in the moment.
"She is the reason for my peace of mind and tranquility, she mek mi look so good, come to me baby,” he said as she joined him on stage.
The family circle was complete when their two sons – Rexton Jr and Jahwon– joined them. There was no missing the note of pride in the deejay’s voice as he spoke of his children’s achievements.
“Rex Jr, political science and law at Boston University and Jahwon, 98% average in chemistry, physics and maths!” was the announcement to shouts of approval. “That’s why I’ve been away a little while,” he said, addressing his long absence from Jamaica.
The Ranks wasn’t finished yet as he encouraged fellow artistes to remember that they are a product of their environment. But the statement that connected the most was when he reminded that the ghetto can produce good things.
“Not only gunshot can come out of the ghetto, I’m a natural proof of ghetto progress.”
— Cecelia Campbell-Livingston