Veteran singer Marcia Griffiths and founder of Stone Love Movements, Winston 'Wee Pow' Powell are among the honourees at this year's staging of the Reggae Icon Awards in Miramar, Florida, which is scheduled for Wednesday, February 22.
This is the fourth year of the Reggae Icon Awards, conceptualised by Commissioner of the City of Miramar Alexandra P Davis.
"I created the Reggae Icon Awards to honour our pioneers in reggae during Reggae Month here in South Florida. Reggae Month is important to celebrate, and with the blessing of the Honourable Olivia Grange and her ministry we were able to celebrate it in our own way here in Miramar for the first time in 2020. We are now in our fourth year," Davis told the Jamaica Observer.
The Reggae Icon Awards will take place at the Miramar Cultural Centre Banquet Hall, Civic Centre Place in Miramar. The event is being held under the distinguished patronage of the Consul General of Jamaica Oliver Mair.
Alexander explained how the recipients of the awards are selected.
"Recipients are selected for the Reggae Icon Award by our committee based on their impact on advancing reggae globally over the years, and the Marcus Garvey Award is presented to someone who is an activist and champion for equality and justice," she informed.
The recipient of the Marcus Garvey Award is Miami-Dade Commissioner Marleine Bastien, who is of Haitian heritage.
"This year we will have artistes paying homage to the honourees as well as a skit presented by Julie Mango, along with musical entertainment and food," she said.
Davis was born in Kingston and resided in Britain before settling in South Florida. She is a past student of Wolmer's High School for Girls and The University of the West Indies (Mona).
Griffiths's recording career began at Studio One during the rocksteady era in the 1960s. There, she recorded a number of dance hits including Feel Like Jumping, Melody Life, and Really Together (with Bob Andy).
A highlight of her career came in the 1970s when she toured and recorded as a member of the I-Three, Bob Marley's harmony group.
Her hit songs include Stepping Outa Babylon, Dreamland, and Electric Boogie.
Like many sound systems that emerged in the 1970s, Stone Love was a 'soul set' which played house parties and the occasional big dance. According to Powell, he was inspired by the approach of Gemini, another Molynes Road sound system that ruled the roost up to the late 1980s.
Stone Love was the 'sound' to follow by the 1990s, with its fans including top artistes and the flamboyant Black Roses Crew. Some of its selectors, including Rory Gilligan, became celebrities.
The jump in acclaim influenced Powell to start the Stone Love label, which was just as successful. It released hit songs by Sanchez (Falling in Love), Tony Curtis (Love Should Have Brought you Home) and Hands in The Air by Spragga Benz.
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