Grange honoured with Tosh award

By Aaliyah Cunningham
Observer Writer

Saturday, October 19, 2019

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Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia “Babsy” Grange headed the list of honorees at the annual Peter Tosh Awards held on Thursday evening at Villa Ronai in St Andrew. The event was a part of Peter Tosh Festival and coincided with the late reggae singer's 75th birthday celebrations.

She received the Stepping Razor Award for her stellar contribution to the growth and prosperity of the local entertainment industry.

“I am very honoured to receive this award,” Grange said.

“Peter was very special to me and I was very special to him. Every time he came back from tour he would come to me with my Julie mango and East Indian mango. We exchanged a lot of positive thoughts. He always spoke the truth, he was a real person and Jamaica is really blessed to have produced such a creative individual,” she continued.

Other awardees Thursday evening included Douglas Gordon, who received the Legalise It Award. Tosh was a proud advocate for the legalisation of marijuana in Jamaica and this award seeks to honour an individual who continues the fight. Gordon's work includes the cannabis conference, CanEx.

“It has always been our dream to have a platform to promote the legalisation of Cannabis, not only in Jamaica but across the Caribbean. The work that Peter Tosh has done and that his estate has done since we feel very honoured to be able to partner with them. I feel particularly humbled to receive this award on behalf of all the people who work so hard to make this conference possible,” Gordon said.

The Equal Rights Award was given to Steve DeAngelo for his contribution to the fight for equal rights. In 2014, he launched the Last Prisoner Project.

Cedella Marley was awarded the Bush Doctor Award for her contribution to the music industry. Marley is the CEO of Tuff Gong International. She is a fashion designer, manager, and a former member of the Melody Makers.

The birthday celebrations featured a symposium at The University of the West Indies and will conclude with a tribute concert, scheduled for the Pulse Centre in New Kingston. The concert is set to feature Ken Boothe, Duane Stephenson, Bushman, Andrew Tosh and Ky-Mani Marley.

Tosh is lauded as a reggae icon. He was a former member of The Wailers, alongside Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer. Some of his popular tracks include Stepping Razor, Brand New Second Hand and Legalise It.

He died on September 11, 1987 after being shot by assailants inside his home in Upper St Andrew.


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