Friday, March 05, 2021

January 22, 2021 -To cap off the month-long celebration of Reggae Month, the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) will be hosting its annual Honor Awards and has already announced this year’s recipients. The list of honorees represents a wide cross-section of players in the local Jamaican music fraternity including emerging and established performers, musicians and sound system operators, also media personalities, and behind the scenes personnel like engineers and songwriters.

This year’s lifetime achievement award will go to Owen Gray, the singer and songwriter who is referred to by many as Jamaica’s first home-grown star. The 81-year-old, who currently lives in London, was one of the first artists to record for Sir Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s Downbeat label in 1959 and the first act to be produced by Chris Blackwell in 1960. His single “Patricia” was the first record ever released by Island Records, owned by Blackwell.

Celebrated musician and songwriter Harold Butler will be honored with the award for his exceptional contribution to the reggae industry as a songwriter. He has written hits for several entertainers including Beres Hammond and Cynthia Schloss.

This year, three artists “Luciano” (Jepther McClymoth), U-Roy (Ewart Beckford) and Phyllis Dillon have been selected for Icon awards.  While the male duo the Blues Busters are to receive the Icon award for iconic duo/group

In the area of gospel music, the awards go to George Banton and Change.

British reggae outfit Aswad is this year’s honoree for its contribution to the industry as a band.

Stephen “Cat” Coore, a founding member of renowned reggae band Third World, and a respected cellist and guitarist, will be awarded for his contribution to the reggae industry as an instrumentalist.

Engineers Shane Brown and Orville “Rorey” Baker will be recognized for their work in their particular field, and in the category of producer, Leroy and Dave Heywood, also known as Mafia and Fluxy, and Handel Tucker will be recognized.

Count Shelly Lloyd and the Coxsone Sound System will awarded as the top sound systems having a significant impact on the music. 

Media awards go to popular radio personality and dub poet Mutabaruka, along with the music website Reggaeville.

The organizers of the popular and long-running street dance Rae Town Sundays will be honored in the category of a promoter.

Posthumous awards for their contribution to the development of reggae music will go to Hornsman Ronald “Nambo” Robinson, who died in 2017, for his mentorship; Edward O’Sullivan Lee (Bunny Lee), and Winston “Bopee” Bowen, guitarist and vocalist Dalton Browne, who passed away late last year, and radio personality Tony Young.

The Gregory Isaacs Foundation award will go to Orville “Bagga” Case for his work in album cover designs.

The awards for Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Song of the Year are being put to a public vote. The results will be announced at the awards show, which will be a virtual showcase.


February 28, 2021    NEW YORK (AP) — When drained of glamour, what’s left of the Golden Globes? That’s one of the biggest questions heading into the 78th annual awards on Sunday night. The show, postponed two months from its usual early-January perch, will have little of what makes the Globes one of the frothiest and glitziest events of the year. Due to the pandemic, there will be no parade of stars down the red carpet outside the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. Its hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be on different sides of the country.

February 26, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Most playwrights who dip their toes into musical theater for the first time go small. Not Katori Hall: Her first assignment was to capture the life of a musical giant — Tina Turner. “I’m not really scared of much, which is probably why I felt like ‘Oh yeah, I’ll try this. I’ll take Tina Turner, one of the biggest icons in the world, and attempt to retell her story in this musical form,’” Hall says, laughing. “I had no qualms whatsoever.” That fearlessness has led to Hall’s first Tony nominations, as a producer and book writer for “Tina — The Tina Turner Musical.” At the awards show, it will compete against “Jagged Little Pill” and “Moulin Rouge! The Musical!” for Broadway’s best new musical crown.

February 26, 2021   NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix on Friday released a study it commissioned from top academic researchers that shows the streaming giant is outpacing much of the film industry in the inclusivity of its original films and television series. For years, academic studies have sought to capture inequalities in Hollywood and to hold studios accountable for making film and television that doesn’t reflect American demographics. Those studies have generally relied on box-office or ratings data, often leaving out streaming platforms. Netflix is trying a different route with both more transparency and more company control. The streamer commissioned the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative to analyze its 2018 and 2019 original, live-action films and series, and presented the results to members of the press Thursday in a video presentation. The results were, as Annenberg Inclusion Initiative founder and director Stacy L. Smith noted, far more positive than most Annenberg reports, which have typically found only slow, sporadic improvement in the most popular films.


February 26, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Four hours of morning television is a lot of time to fill, but new Black News Channel hosts Mike Hill and Sharon Reed don’t expect to run out of things to say. Their new program, which debuts Monday at 6 a.m. Eastern, is the centerpiece of Black News Channel’s relaunch to emphasize commentary and a more analytical approach to the news. Nearly invisible when it debuted last year, BNC is methodically becoming more available to viewers. “This is when I need my voice to be heard and I want my voice to be heard,” said Hill, who has worked at Fox Sports and ESPN. “So much is happening in our country.”

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February 28, 2021  WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two. Health experts are anxiously awaiting a one-and-done option to help speed vaccinations, as they race against a virus that already has killed more than 510,000 people in the U.S. and is mutating in increasingly worrisome ways. The FDA said J&J’s vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death. One dose was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness, in a massive study that spanned three continents — protection that remained strong even in countries such as South Africa, where the variants of most concern are spreading.

February 28, 2021  WASHINGTON (AP) — Looking beyond the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, President Joe Biden and lawmakers are laying the groundwork for another top legislative priority — a long-sought boost to the nation’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure that could run into Republican resistance to a hefty price tag. Biden and his team have begun discussions on the possible outlines of an infrastructure package with members of Congress, particularly mindful that Texas’ recent struggles with power outages and water shortages after a brutal winter storm present an opportunity for agreement on sustained spending on infrastructure.

February 26, 2021    WASHINGTON (AP) — On a cold, gray February afternoon, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stepped out of the West Wing wrapped in a puffy black parka and clutching a folder of documents, seemingly oblivious to the Washington custom of having an aide schlep the paperwork. Viewed as an outsider to partisan politics, she now has a place in President Joe Biden’s inner sanctum, a Ph.D. economist who does the reading, knows the numbers and treats her staff as peers rather than underlings. Yellen, entourage in tow, had been at the White House to strategize about how to push through Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan -- a package that could determine how quickly the U.S. economy heals, how the Democrats fare in the midterm elections and just how much Americans can trust the government to solve the nation’s toughest problems.

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