Peabo shows love for Gregory

Peabo shows love for Gregory

Observer writer

Thursday, February 14, 2019

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After 40-odd years in the music business, American R&B singer Peabo Bryson is still touring, performing in the United States, United Kingdom and Indonesia. His next stop is Jamaica where he and fellow singer Regina Belle will headline Red Rose for Gregory, scheduled for Sunday at Liguanea Club in Kingston.

“In this era of music, I am technically not supposed to exist, but I'm defying all the odds. I was born for this, I was born to remain timeless. As far as my work goes, I always keep up with the technology to stay current. I also have to align myself with people who see me differently from how I see myself. These people help me to create music that is still relevant without changing or compromising who I am,” Bryson told the Jamaica Observerfrom his Atlanta residence on Tuesday.

Bryson cannot remember how many times he has visited Jamaica. He, however, recalls his performance with Belle on Soul In The Sun in Montego Bay in 2014.

“Performing for the Jamaican audience is always a good experience,” he said. Bryson is unaware of his popularity on the island though several of his songs have been hits here.

“I have no idea how popular I am there. I just kind of get a feeling for it when I'm here (in the US) and run into Jamaicans and they say they know me and love my songs,” he said.

Songs in his catalogue include Can you Stop The Rain, Tonight I Celebrate My Love, A Whole New World, and Beauty and The Beast.

Tonight I Celebrate m y Love was done with Roberta Flack; he and Belle sang the Academy and Grammy Award-winning A Whole New World.

The 67-year-old artiste said throughout his career he maintained a close friendship with singer James Ingram who passed away on January 29. Bryson compared Ingram to Gregory Isaacs, in whose honour Red Rose for Gregory is held.

“To stand out in a culture like the Jamaican culture is not an easy thing to do, to stand out in a culture like the American culture is also not an easy thing to do, but Gregory did that and James did that. Hats off to both,” he said.

Isaacs died on October 25, 2010 at age 59.

Red Rose for Gregory is organised by the Gregory Isaacs Foundation. Part proceeds will go to the Patricia House which provides rehabilitation for drug and alcohol addicticts.

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