Who will make the cut?

By Kevin Jackson
Observer writer

Thursday, December 06, 2018

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NOMINATIONS for the 61st Grammy Awards are scheduled to be announced tomorrow. The awards ceremony is set for the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday February 10, 2019.

To be nominated, albums must be released between the eligibility period of October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018.

Below are my annual predictions as to which albums will make the final cut for Best Reggae Album.

Mad Love - The Prequel (EP) - Sean Paul

Released on June 29 by Island Records, this nine-track set peaked at number four on the Billboard Reggae Album Chart. It features collaborations with Jene' Aiko, David Guetta and Becky G, Major Lazer, Stefflon Don, Migos, Tory Lanez and Dua Lipa.

Sean Paul is familiar to Grammy voters, having secured five nominations and one win thus far. He won in 2004 for Dutty Rock.

Rebellion Rises - Ziggy Marley - Sony Music Latin

Marley hunts his eighth Grammy in this category. Rebellion Rises was released on May 28 and has to date sold more than 8,000 copies in the United States. It is the fifth best-selling reggae album of 2018 in that country.

44/876 - Sting and Shaggy - A&M Records

The collaborative effort by an unlikely duo: English superstar Sting and dancehall pop star Shaggy. It topped the Billboard Reggae Album Chart for 18 weeks (non-consecutive) and has not left the Top 10 of that table since its release in April. This is the frontrunner for Best Reggae Album.

Appearances on high-profile American television shows contributed to 44/876's success. It is the year's top grossing reggae album with over 50,000 copies sold.

Both Shaggy and Sting have won the coveted Grammy Award. Shaggy won it for Bombastic in 1996, while Sting has won the award 16 times (as a member of The Police and a solo artiste).

Free Rein - Rebelution - 87 Music/Easy Star Records

California band Rebelution already has one Best Reggae Album Grammy nomination under its belt, having been cited in 2017 for Falling Into Place. Their most recent effort, Free Rein was released on June 15, and has so far sold 18, 426 copies, the second best-selling reggae title for 2018. It topped the Billboard Reggae Album Chart for two weeks.

Poetry in Motion - SOJA - ATCO Records LLC

The Virginia reggae band were nominated in 2015 and 2017 for Amid the Noise and Haste and Live in Virginia, respectively. Poetry in Motion was released on October 20 last year and also topped the Billboard Reggae Album Chart SOJA its fourth number one.

Poetry in Motion has to date sold more than 8,470 copies.

As The World Turns - Black Uhuru - Black Uhuru Official

The veteran group's first release in 15 years, As The World Turns peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Reggae Album Chart in September. Released on September 7 by Black Uhuru Official, the set would be Uhuru's seventh nomination.They won the first Best Reggae Album Grammy (it was known as Best Reggae Recording) in 1985 with Anthem.

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