Caribbean music artists to be inducted

Marcia Griffiths and Ken Boothe performing at Groovin' in the Park.
Photo by Toni Dubois, file

Four leading Jamaican reggae artists and a Trinidadian soca star will be inducted into the New York-based Young, Gifted & Black (YGB) Caribbean Music Entertainment Icon Hall of Fame on Feb. 24.

YGB’s president and chief executive officer Carl O. Gray said on Monday that reggae stars — Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths, Freddie McGregor and Beenie Man (Moses Davis) — and soca star Machel Montano will be inducted during YGB’s virtual ceremony.

“The organization is proud to complete the roster of honorees with the announcement of their confirmed celebrities who will be inducted into the
YGB Caribbean Music Entertainment ICON Hall of Fame,” said Gray, stating that the Caribbean luminaries will accept their honor “as one of several highlights that commensurate the 16th year celebration as a national and international awards platform.”

Jamaican singer Beres Hammond. Ajamu

He said the awardees were publicly selected through an online voting poll that identified “five top artists whose body of work has impacted their industry and community.”

Previous inductees were Tony Rebel (2017), Richie Stephens (2018), Bounty Killa (2019) and Tanya Stephens (2020).

Gray also said that YGB Entrepreneurial Awards continues to pay tribute to the legacy of Nina Simone, well renowned singer, songwriter, musician, arranger and civil rights activist.

In 1969, Gray said Simone recorded the song, “To Be Young, Gifted & Black,” which was “aimed to capture joy in Black identity amid bloody civil rights struggle.”

“Her music spans a broad range of musical styles, including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel and pop,” Gray said.

He said the YCB created an awards category in 2010, “The Nina Simone Artistic Excellence Awards,” to identify individuals in music, dance, art and other genres.

Additionally, Gray said YGB Entrepreneurial Awards will acknowledge “Rising Stars” across the United States, Canada and Africa including: Michael Rainey, Jr., American-Jamaican actor on Starz Network Power Book II – Ghost; Nigel Birch, Jr., Canadian spoken word poet and author; and Sheila Sheldon Charles, Kenyan painter, model and designer.

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, Gray said the annual Black Tie Awards Dinner and Reception will be produced virtually, with the option for honorees to attend in person at VIP Connected, 1120 Avenue of the Americas, midtown Manhattan.

For more information, go to www.ygbawards.com or 2021ygbawards.eventbrite.com.

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