Queens to get their due

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, September 19, 2019

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FOURTEEN women are to be honoured at the Queens of Reggae Island Honorary Ceremonies (QORIHC) Awards set for the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston on October 26.

The award, which recognises females from all spheres of the entertainment industry, is now in its fourth year.

The list is headed by veteran actress Leonie Forbes. The other honorees are: Shirley Willis, former lead singer of The Grace Thrillers; artiste manager Claudette Kemp; broadcaster Elise Kelly; singer Judy Mowatt, businesswoman Tina Matalon; public relations practitioner/arts marketer Coleen Douglas; poet Cherry Natural; dancehall dancer Keiva The Diva; recording artiste Ce'Cile; music video director Scorpio 21; international model Stacey McKenzie; businesswoman Kelly Upsetter; and social media influencer/blogger Lauren O Lauren.

Conceptualiser of the event, Laurell Nurse, told the Jamaica Observer that she started the event as a means of recognising persons who were not necessarily upfront as artistes, but nevertheless played a vital role in the bigger entertainment picture.

“I recognised that women were doing so much. They are basically hands-on in every part of the industry and work so hard, but nobody really recognised them, usually it's the artistes who get recognised. I just wanted to shine the light behind the artiste and involve the unsung heroes who are not usually recognised. When I just started people were saying I would run out of women, and I had to remind them of how varied the categories are. As I go along, I realise that there are still so many people in each category. So the biggest thing for us, as organisers, is not really the planning and execution of the event; it's narrowing down the list of honorees,” she said.

To qualify for QORIHC, the women must have been in their chosen fields for a minimum of 10 years and must have had impact on the entertainment industry.

This year's event will be complete with the glitz of former years. Nurse is keeping some of the details close to her chest, but did reveal that an interesting entertainment package awaits patrons.

“The greatest thing is that we have a wide and varied entertainment package. This year, we are going to have a lot of male entertainers serenading the women. In addition, a number of the honorees will also be performing and I am looking forward to that. There could also be a surprise performer, but I won't reveal that just now.”

Honorees in the past include: singer Carlene Davis; deejay Spice; radio jock DJ Sunshine; entertaiment and culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange; international model, singer and actress Grace Jones; late broadcaster Dorraine Samuels, Jamaica Observer's Lifestyle Editor Novia McDonald Whyte; theatre practitioner Dahlia Harris, and artiste manager and event promoter Sharon Burke.


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