Caribbean nationals cop Grammys AMA & Billboard’s top nod

Grenadian Yvette Noel-Schure at right.
Photo courtesy Billboard Magazine

Santa Claus arrived early to deliver a sack full of treasures to a few Caribbean nationals he might consider naughty or nice but definitely worthy of distinction for being outstanding achievers in the music industry during 2016.

In the current edition, Billboard Magazine heralded Grenadian Yvette Noel-Schure as one of “Six Topline Publicists Shaping the Careers of Everyone From The Boss to Queen Bey.”

Profiled in the acclaimed “Bible of the Music Industry” along with five influential power publicists — in a story titled “Women In Music 2016,” the insider publication shone a beam of light on the Caribbean woman acclaimed for helping to shape the career of the top pop international female performer. That she also honed her career working with Prince, Mariah Carey, John Legend and others on a long list of hit-makers was missing from the article but the fact she is founder of Schure Media Group founder who “kept Beyonce at the pinnacle of popular culture in 2016” anchors the telling biography.

The pub spotlighted the fact Noel-Schure was actively involved in 2016 when the superstar led “the charge on a Super Bowl halftime performance” and introduced “Lemonade” in a surprise CD launch before pursuing the $250 million-grossing “Formation World Tour.”

“During some weeks, it’s a wonder Noel-Schure, a longtime staffer at Columbia Records before forming her own firm, finds time to sleep,” the writer documented.

“When we are in the middle of a big production or a major tour or planning a huge editorial shoot, it is an endless process that only ends when the project is completed,” Noel-Schure said.

“There is no stopping and coming back to it. I find myself constantly asking for more hours in the day.”

The reward, however, “is always the finished product,” the New York-based Grenadian added. “It gives me pause to marvel, to appreciate the artist more and more and to admire the hard work of the team.”

The busy publicist accepted the honor which grouped women in a variety of music categories which were presented earlier this month in Los Angeles, California.

The event lauded Madonna as Woman of the Year.

Also cited in the publicity category were celebrity spokespersons for Bruce “the Boss” Springsteen, Carole King, A Tribe Called Quest, Harry Connick Jr., Eric Clapton, Justin Timberlake, Sia and Alicia Keys.

Jolly St. Nick also ensured that Barbados claimed a place on the shortlist of distinguished Caribbean music achievers. With Robyn Rihanna Fenty’s red-hot successful treasure trove of hits that earned her seven American Music Awards (AMA) nominations and a whopping eight nominations for the 2017 Grammy Awards, Rihanna might be the naughtiest to win the confidence of the white-bearded sled rider.

Despite a promise to reward the well-behaved of the world, the fella might have overlooked the naughty clause to ensure that she is second only to Beyonce’s phenomenal nine Grammy nods. The 28-year-old Rihanna was named in top categories – for Record of the Year and Best Urban Contemporary Album categories as a solo artiste, as well as in the Best Rap/Sung Performance where she featured on Kanye West’s “Famous” CD.

The island superstar will face stiff competition in the Record of the Year category with “Work” up against classy contenders Adele (Hello), Lukas Graham (7 Years) and Twenty One Pilots (Stressed Out) in addition to Queen Bey’s “Formation.”

Slated to air on Feb. 12 in a ceremony hosted by James Corden at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, Rihanna might be nicely rewarded for her nods in the Best R&B Performance (Needed Me) and Best R&B Song (Kiss it Better) categories.

In the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Rihanna’s “Work” featuring Drake and will rival fellow Caribbean talent Sean Paul who features on Sia’s “Cheap Thrills.”

Paul, a Grammy-winning deejay reputedly stamped his mark on two smash hits this year, starting with a featured spot on the reworked single version of Sia’s “Cheap Thrills.”

The song was chosen as the second official single off Sia’s “This Is Acting” album, and did not originally feature Sean Paul, but his input was added when “Thrills” was sent out to radio.

The unexpected collaboration with Sia took the song all the way to number one position and throughout the summer owned the season and also gave Sia her first Billboard number one recording.

“Cheap Thrills’” golden run came a full 10 years after Sean Paul entered the Billboard Top 10 on his own with “Temperature” and (When You Gonna) “Give It Up To Me.”

While “Thrills” was a huge international hit, it’s not the only success story for Sean Paul this year. He is featured on Clean Bandit’s latest smash “Rockabye,” which shot to the top in the UK, remains riding high, and is starting to spread to some markets, most notably the US.

According to Forbes, “While these songs aren’t making Sean Paul’s name, they are helping to resuscitate his career, as well as to introduce him to a new, younger generation that might not know his own works very well.”

His 2002 album “Dutty Rock” is said to have launched dancehall into the mainstream.

Songs the likes of “Get Busy,” “Gimme The Light,” the Beyonce-featuring “Baby Boy,” and “Breathe” all helped place him among the world’s pop elite of the day.

Paul’s resounding return to the Billboard landscape revives Jamaica’s dancehall music profile on the international circuit. Hailed by Forbes Magazine as “one of the most surprising stories of 2016 in the music world,” the magazine speculated that the 44-year-old star may owe his resurgence either to “an expertly curated strategy on the part of his management, his record label, and him, or if he just happened to work with the right artistes at the right time and the stars aligned.”

Jamaicans have always excelled in music and 2016 marked another banner year for Ziggy Marley who in addition to being named for his sixth Grammy award also published a cookbook, and for the holidays introduced his own Rasta emojis.

The multiple Grammy-winning reggae legend continues to diversify his creative outlets by adding tech space to his portfolio. Marley delved into virtual graphics by introducing the world’s first line of reggae-themed emojis. In a partnership with EmojiFame, Marley curated and developed two series of the popular communication icons inspired by and reflective of the reggae culture and lifestyle, as well as his own particular interests.

With imagery ranging from symbolic nods to Jamaica, soccer, and of course, music, the reggae star offers a pair of colorful collections: the Ziggy pack and the Ziggy 420 pack (17+).

“While working on these emojis, we strove to harness the infectious positivity that Ziggy Marley brings to the world via his music,” Gavin Rhodes, co-founder of Emoji Fame said.

“Fans can now share that energy in emoji form with Ziggy’s Rasta Mojis.”

” The eldest son of Rita and Robert Nesta Marley said, “Emojis offer a way to communicate without words.”

“I am very blessed to introduce my own way of expression which I have personally created along with Emoji Fame. I know everyone will enjoy using these emojis as much as I will. One love.”

In Jamaica, Orville “Shaggy” Burrell, one of the richest reggae artists in the music industry was inducted to the Caribbean Hall of Fame.

Popularly revered as Shaggy, he was cited by the 2016 Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) Hall of Fame for his dedicated fundraising commitment to the Bustamante Children’s Home. Reportedly for at least 10 years before he launched the annual Shaggy & Friends fundraiser he donated to the Jamaica-based hospital. He became fully involved in raising funds for the institution after his “Hot Shot” album sold 10 million in the USA and an additional 13 million worldwide earning him a Grammy for the Best Reggae Album in 1996.

Next year, the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation is poised to donate 1,000 pieces of equipment to treat more than 77,000 children each year at the Bustamante Children’s Hospital. The foundation has raised more than $255 million since 2009 by staging an annual Shaggy & Friends concert.

And the island birthplace of reggae also took the biggest global prize in sports when Usain Bolt won his record sixth Men’s International Association of Athletes Federation World Athlete Award. He picked up the 2016 trophy in Monaco where top athletes reunited after fierce and phenomenal contests in South America last summer.

That Bolt aced his legacy taking home nine Olympic gold medals to the island and capturing the biggest crowds at the Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil helped his profile on the international circuit. However, with the release of a documentary “I Am Bolt,” the 30-year-old super sprinter has shored up his storied career.

Procrastinators: No Need For Despair There’s Still Hope For App(y) Holidays

By now due to procrastination more than a few last minute shoppers are in panic mode.

Thankfully there’s an app for everything — not just games, music, media, fashion, entertainment, travel, — but also gift giving in a pinch. Therefore when the doors to department stores shut close on Christmas Eve and shippers provide the least hope for holiday delivery choose giving apps for the holiday.

And as always, ensure a peaceful, safe, happy and healthy holiday 2016.

Catch You On The Inside!

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