A Sterling evening of gospel

By Kevin Jackson
Observer writer

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

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Singers Rhoda Isabella and Christopher Gayle were the big winners at Saturday night's Sterling Gospel Music Awards which took place at the Knutsford Court hotel in Kingston.

Isabella, who honed her skills as a background singer, began pursuing a solo career last year. Her hit single Still Breathing, helped her win Female Artiste of The Year and Breakout Sensation of The Year.

“Still Breathing was written from the lowest place in my life. I battled the feeling of death and then having hurdled over that through prayers and seeking answers from God, the Lord gave this song to me,” Isabella said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

Dwain “Wiya” Campbell of Barbwiya Music produced Still Breathing.

Male Artiste of The Year went to singer Rondell Positive, who was just as overjoyed.

“First and foremost being nominated alongside my brothers Jermaine Edwards, Kevin Downswell and Kevin Heath was an extreme honour. Winning the Male Artiste of The year was a bit surprising! I believe that we have all worked extremely hard and I believe it was one of the most difficult categories for the judges,” he said.

Gayle's song, The Wall featuring deejay Dwayne 'Dweeno' Mighty, earned awards for Local Hit of The Year and Collaboration of The Year. It also gave Dweeno the award for Local Hit Producer of The Year.

“I am very happy and right now, the feeling hasn't taken over as yet. It's an awesome feeling,”' said Gayle, who began recording professionally one year ago.

Held under the theme Royally Saluting Our Legends, winners were recognised in 18 categories. Among the highlights of the four-hour presentation, was Isabella's stellar four-song worship segment.

Director and founder of the Sterling Gospel Awards, Basillia Barnaby-Cuff, was in high spirits.

“I'm very pleased about this year's execution, especially as it relates to the level of production. It took a lot of hard work and we are happy that it paid off. The local gospel music industry was celebrated in fine style,” she said.

Impresario Tommy Cowan was presented with the Sterling Award for Excellence. His Fun in The Son was named Most Rated Event of The year. Cowan's wife, singer Carlene Davis, was honoured for her contribution to the gospel fraternity, so too Stichie, Sandra Brooks, Papa San, Martin's Heritage, Grace Thrillers, Shirley Willis and Joan Flemmings.

Other winners were:

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Prodigal Son | Pure Gold

GROUP OF THE YEAR

Anointed Musicianz & Singers

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Prodigal Son ft Sai-ku | Light it Up

CARIBBEAN ARTISTE

Samuel Medas

INTERNATIONAL ARTISTE

Travis Green

E.P. OF THE YEAR

Jim Radical | The Higher Calling

EVENT DJ OF THE YEAR

DJ Rebirth

EMCEE EXTRAORDINAIRE OF THE YEAR

Ava Gay Blair

MOST RATED RADIO PROGRAMME OF THE YEAR

Dwight Ross | Barrelman in the Mawning' | Online Radio

DIGICEL S.W.I.F.T. Award (Social Media)

Image Jamaica Media


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