August 8, 2023 -On Sunday, Jamaica’s National Stadium buzzed with excitement as nationals convened for the Grand Gala, marking the country’s 61st year of independence. Amidst the grandeur, Trinidadian soca sensation, Machel Montano, not only dazzled the audience with his electrifying performance but also received a prestigious honor – the key to the City of Kingston.
Montano, known for his effervescent stage presence, belted out several crowd favorites, revving up the atmosphere, shortly after being honored with the city’s symbolic key.
The Independence Grand Gala, a cornerstone of Jamaica’s independence festivities, was truly illuminated by Montano’s participation.
Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation backs Montano’s recognition
The initiative to honor him came from Education Minister, Olivia “Babsy” Grange, which found unanimous support from the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC).
“Be it resolved that the Key to the City of Kingston be conferred on Mr Machel Jesus Montano, in recognition of his sterling, awesome and iconic career in music, which has positively influenced many adoring fans across the Caribbean and the world, including many Jamaicans who continue to enjoy his enduring legacy,” stated a resolution passed by the council.
It was tabled by Government councilor Susan Senior and seconded by councilor Kari Douglas, both of whom were convinced of its approval, especially those who have experienced Montano’s local performances.
“When you hear soca music, you just want to jump. Soca is sweet… together we join together in a special way for a special moment,” she said, as she hailed Montano’s courtesy and encouragement and love for music.
Throughout his Gala performance, he wore his pride on his sleeve, speaking volumes of his deep-rooted love for Jamaica and Trinidad, and the rich tapestry of Caribbean culture.
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Montano’s Jamaican roots: A journey from early education to global stardom
Montano’s early education began in Kingston, Jamaica, where he undoubtedly developed his love for and appreciation of the country’s music, culture and the arts.
He is widely regarded as a friend of Jamaica and has helped with many fund-raising events to assist local charities and community organizations.
Montano’s illustrious career boasts collaborations with Caribbean music legends such as Admiral T, Alison Hinds, Beenie Man, and international icons like Wyclef Jean, Shaggy, and Pitbull.
He stands tall as a global ambassador of soca, echoing the vibrant beats of the Caribbean to the world.