Five compete for reggae Grammy

Entertainment

Five compete for reggae Grammy

BY KEVIN JACKSON
Observer write

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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IT'S a case of the veterans vs the young in the Best Reggae Album category of the 63rd Grammy Awards. The nominations were announced yesterday via www.grammy.com.

The nominees are Upside Down 2020 by Buju Banton, One World by The Wailers, It All Comes Back to Love by Maxi Priest, Got to Be Tough by Toots and the Maytals, and Higher Place by Skip Marley.

Skip Marley has had a good year. Aside from earning two Soul Train Music Award nominations recently, he topped the Billboard Adult R&B Songs chart in May with Slow Down featuring HER. His current single Make Me Feel featuring Rick Ross and Ari Lennox has hit the chart's Top 20.

Marley's Higher Place went to number two on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart. Island Records released it in August. It has songs with his uncle Damian Marley and grandfather Bob.

Marley also picked up a nomination in the Best R&B Song category for Slow Down. This is the first time in the history of the Grammy Awards that a Jamaican has been nominated in a major R&B category.

He was elated at the nods.

“Thanks and praise to the Most High. Feeling blessed to see the fruits of our work. Grateful,” he told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

He said his uncles, aunt and mom were delighted by his nominations.

“They have all played a role in my development, and as my mom say: “It's just the beginning... stay focused... stay ready,” he said.

Upside Down 2020 marks the sixth nomination for Buju Banton. He was previously nominated for Inna Heights (1999), Friends for Life (2004), Too Bad (2007), Rasta Got Soul (2010), and Before the Dawn (2011). Before the Dawn won the award.

Released in June via Gargamel Music/Roc Nation, Upside Down 2020 is the first full-length release from Buju Banton in a decade. The album features collaborations with R&B singer John Legend, Stephen Marley, Stefflon Don and Pharrell Williams.

The 20-track set debuted at number two on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.

On his social media pages, Buju Banton commented about the nomination.

“Let the music speak, I wanna be a silent listener. Thanks to all. A telling album in telling times. #UPSIDEDOWN2020,” Buju Banton posted.

One World by The Wailers was released in August by Sony Music Latin. Emilio Estefan, husband of singer Gloria Estefan, produced the 14-track set.

It has songs featuring Jesse Royal, Farruko, Shaggy, Cedella Marley, Skip Marley, Natiruts, and Kush Gad.

The Wailers were nominated in 1990 for ID .

It All Comes Back to Love by Maxi Priest marks the third nomination for the London-bred reggae vocalist. It was released in September 2019 via S-Curve Records and peaked at number two on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.

Bounty Killer, Estelle, Anthony Hamilton, Shaggy and Inner Circle are featured.

Maxi Priest's previous nominations were Fe Real (1994) and Man with the Fun (1997).

Got to Be Tough by Toots and The Maytals was released on August 28. This is the seventh nomination for frontman Toots Hibbert and sixth overall nomination for The Maytals.

Hibbert, 77, died on September 11 from COVID-19 complications.

The Trojan Jamaica/BMG set is the veteran act's first release in more than a decade. It peaked at number nine on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart and has to date sold more than 3,700 copies in the United States.

Toots and The Maytals won the Grammy in 2005 for True Love. Their previous nominations were Toots in Memphis (1989), An Hour Live (1991), Ska Father (1999), Light Your Light (2008), and Reggae Got Soul: Unplugged on Strawberry Hill (2013).

The 63rd Grammy Awards will be held on January 31, 2021.


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