Time to vote

141 reggae albums on ballot for Grammy's first round

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, October 18, 2018

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The first round of voting for the 2019 Grammy Awards started yesterday with a total of 141 albums presented in the Best Reggae Album category.

Voting from this long list will run until October 31 and the results will determine the list of nominations for reggae Grammy, usually between five and seven albums. The nominees will be announced on December 5.

To be eligible, recordings must have been released between October 1, 2017 and September 30 this year.

Only voters have access to the complete list that is available on the on line ballot, however, the Jamaica Observer has learned that among the main contenders on the ballot are eight-time Grammy Award winner Ziggy Marley, who is up for his seventh full-length solo studio album, Rebellion Rises, which was released on May 18. British rocker Sting and local diamond-selling artiste Shaggy are also on the ballot for their collaborative album 44/876, released in April of this year.

Hardcore deejay Popcaan is also on the reggae Grammy ballot for his album Forever which he dropped a few months ago. The Strong One — Etana is also in on the running with her latest project Reggae Forever. Lovesick, the lover's rock project from Romain Virgo, has also been put to members of the Academy for their consideration, as is Lily of the Valley — the début album from Jesse Royal, and Protoje's latest project A Moment in Time.

Black Uhuru, the first winner of the reggae Grammy back in 1986 for Anthem, has also made this year's long list. Should this veteran reggae band make it with a nomination for the just-released As the World Turns, this would mark their eighth nomination in the reggae Grammy category. The other projects for which they have been nominated include Brutal (1987), Now (1991), Iron Storm (1992), and Mystical Truth (1994).

International reggae acts have also contributed to this year's long list. Italian reggae artiste Alborosie and his project Unbreakable: Alborosie Meets the Wailers United is on the ballot. American acts Soja, Rebelution, and Common Kings are also up for contention. Soja is there with Poetry in Motion, Rebelution has Free Rein and Common Kings is in with their EP One Day. The perennial favourites British reggae outfit UB40 has also made it onto the ballot with A Real Labour of Love.

Over the years the winners for Best Reggae Album have included Burning Spear, Sean Paul, Stephen Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Steel Pulse, Peter Tosh, Sly and Robbie, Toots and the Maytals, Buju Banton and Damian “Junior Gong” Marley.

The 61st annual Grammy Awards will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, United States on Sunday, February 10.

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