Tommy Cowan performs at the recently held Jamaica Independence Foundation People's Ball in Queens, New York. (Photo: Marlon "Ajamu" Myrie)

Musical legend Tommy Cowan is humbled to have been the recipient of three awards at the Jamaica Independence Foundation People's Ball in Queens, New York, on August 5.

Cowan, who is the head of Glory Music, received the Living Legend Award for his exemplary service and unwavering dedication to the preservation of Jamaican music, a proclamation from New York state Senator Kevin S Parker from the 21st Senate District honouring him for his exemplary service on behalf of the community and state, as well as a proclamation on behalf of Congresswoman Yvette D Clarke of the United States House of Representatives, representing the Ninth Congressional District of New York, for "service to the New York community and nation at large with dignity through his various and profound ventures".

"We never do things for recognition; so I cannot say I did. Fifty-six years ago, when we did Baba Boom Time, it was about our youthful contribution to our community and country Jamaica, the same for so many of the other songs and work. It's a humanitarian thing guided by the Father, even when we didn't know it. Give thanks," Cowan told the Jamaica Observer.

The event was held at the Terrace On The Park, under the theme 'Get Ready, Rock Steady', to celebrate the 60s.

Annabelle Manalo-Morgan, wife of Gramps Morgan from the group Morgan Heritage, also received the Lifetime Achievement Award — for discovery in scientific application.

Honorary patron for the event, Ambassador Dr Basil K Bryan, former consul general of Jamaica to New York, received Lifetime Achievement Award for Service Leadership and Excellence.

Additional honorees were: Wilburn Theodore Cole, also known as Stranjah Cole - Living Legend Award; Juliet Bodley - International Spectrum Award; Roy "DJ Roy" Walters - Excellence in Media Award; Morgan Heritage - Universal Impact Award In Reggae Music; and Garfield "Chef Garfield" Clarke - Community Service and Business Development Award.

Cowan also gave a performance with classics from his group, The Jamaicans, with songs such as Baba Boom Time, Things You Say You Love, among others.

Stranjah Cole was scheduled to perform but was unable to due to flight challenges coming in from Germany.

LeRoy Graham's True Tribute All Star band provided live music along with DJ Roy of Road International sound system.

Meanwhile, Cowan is imploring his counterparts to keep core values at the forefront as they strive for success and longevity in the music industry.

"We will never know who we are until we accept Jesus as our saviour and receive God's gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us through all truths. Recognise that you are with potential; find your purpose, work hard at it, your work is what you were put here to do. You can be fired from your job but not from your work. Your work, your music, your productions must carry a humanitarian objective and do it with wisdom. God has planted in each of us the potential and wisdom to know who we are and what we were created to be and do," he said.

Proceeds from the event went to support the foundation's 2023 charities: Union of Jamaican Alumni Association (UJAA) USA, Team Jamaica Bickle, and Lions Clubs International (Jamaica).

BY KEDIESHA PERRY Observer writer

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