Freddie, who has been performing since he was seven years old, was honoured for his years in the industry as an international Reggae singer, musician and producer, accepted the award with pride. He thanked the city of Miramar for the honour and paid tribute to the persons who assisted him along his journey, in particular well known music producer Coxone Dodd whom he called his father.
The Icon awards, dubbed “Black History Month meets Reggae Icon Awards,” which saw a large attendance from members of the Jamaican diaspora in Florida was held under the patronage of Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Ms. Oliva (Babsy) Grange, and presented by the Vice Mayor of Miramar Alexandra P. Davis, herself a member of the Jamaican diaspora.
In addressing the function, Minister Grange sought to enlist the support of the Diaspora in the United States in lobbying The Recording Academy which stages the annual Grammy Awards, to recognize the achievements of Reggae artistes by making their presentation on the main stage at the Grammy Awards show.
“I want to publicly seek the support of the Diaspora in the United States, to ensure that the Reggae Grammy award is presented on the main stage, in the future. You always see Reggae being performed, live in the Grammys, so why can’t our awardees be there to receive the award live, and in person? We must raise our voices,” Minister Grange declared.
She told the large audience of mainly Jamaicans at the Miramar Cultural Centre Banquet Hall, that “Reggae was enlisted among the greatest of world music by the United Nations in November 2018. Additionally, not only was the Reggae song, ‘One Love’ voted as the song of the last century, but also, Bob Marley, King of Reggae, was named composer of the century. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010. By dint of this and the international reach of Reggae music, I now invite you all to begin active lobbying of this challenge that we want to overcome,” she said.
Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The trophy depicts a gilded gramophone. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest.
In extolling the virtues of Reggae music, she informed that “Reggae is no ordinary music. Reggae encapsulates the historic experiences of our people. It captured the challenges, the frustrations and triumphs of the masses of the people, who struggled to carve out of post slavery conditions, a meaningful thrust for a better identity. It was about Peter Tosh defending equal rights and justice; it was about Chronixx’s Jah Soldiers coming together with Marley to chant down Babylon, as they answered the call by Dennis Brown to stand up and fight the right revolution; Reggae carried the mood of the people who sought economic and social liberation, from years of oppression,” Ms Grange noted.
Among the positives of Reggae music that we celebrate tonight, is that it not only provided artistic and cultural relief for the oppressed, it also provided opportunities for them to overcome their poverty, and earn substantial livelihoods. From many of our inner cities, poor young men have been able to travel the world, and make a proper living as the music became an industry.”
Reggae music has provided anthems of resistance for oppressed persons the world over. It has soothed the minds of many who just wanted to hear that ‘every little thing is going to be alright;’ It brought freedom to the continent of Africa; It provided spiritual and fraternal support to Mandela in prison, and waged war on the system of apartheid in South Africa; Reggae responded to the pain of the oppressed, and ignited the world with its message of hope and aspiration.”
At a time when the United Nations is commemorating the International Decade for people of African Descent, it is important for all of us to play our part in the enhancement of Reggae. Here in the Diaspora, it is about engaging with those who are responsible for the promotion of shows and events so that Reggae music will continue to provide opportunities for income generation, wealth creation and also to promote Black Pride,” Minister Grange concluded.
- Countries: Jamaica