Grammy-winning reggae artiste Gramps Morgan and dancehall act D'Angel will host this year's staging of the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) which is set for Sunday, May 16.

The event, which is being staged virtually from Jamaica due to the global health crisis caused by the coronavirus, is now in its 36th year and will awards being handed out in 33 categories.

Creator of the awards, Ephraim Morgan, told the Jamaica Observer said the awards show will also feature performances by a number of artistes.

“We are putting together a fantastic show. Despite the fact that we will be virtual, we are including performances by a wide cross section of entertainers. Some of the biggest African acts will be on the show including Shatta Wale as well as Master KG and Nomcebo who are known for the huge hit Jerusalema. Among the reggae acts are Ziggy Marley and Papa Michigan who will be receiving one of the night's special awards and will also perform a tribute to some of reggae's foundation artiste who have died over the past year,” Martin shared.

Buju Banton has tops the list of nominees this year's with a total of 10 nods. These include the Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award; Best Caribbean Entertainer; Best Music Video for Blessed; Best Collaborated Song, Trust featuring Tory Lanez; Best Dancehall Stagecraft Entertainer; U-Roy Award for Best Male Dancehall Artiste; Toots Hibbert Award for Best Album ( Upside Down 2020); Gregory Isaacs Award for Best Song ( Blessed); Peter Tosh Award for Recording Artiste of the Year; and the Emperor of Reggae And World Music Bob Marley Award for Entertainer of the Year.

Other multiple nominees from the reggae and dancehall genres include: Koffee and Popcaan, who both have six nominations; Protoje and Bounty Killer with five nods; Tarrus Riley, Gramps Morgan and Beenie Man have four nominations; and Sevana, Shenseea and Skip Marley who are up for awards in three categories. Sizzla, Lila Ike, Rvssian, The Wailers, Spice, Agent Sasco and Capleton all have two nominations. Among the artistes with a single nod for an IRAWMA trophy this year are: Chronixx, Romain Virgo, Etana, Naomi Cowan, Shaggy, Govana, D'Angel, Jada Kingdom, Dexta Daps, Sean Paul, Anthony B, and Skillibeng.

The event will be aired on IRAWMA's website and YouTube page, OnStage TV, and the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica, (PBCJ).

Gramps Morgan
BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

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