Three Decades Later, The Reggae Award Is Still NOT Televised

Congratulations Ziggy Marley on your latest win at the Grammys. Fly Rasta Up Up Up… Way Up/. And just to make sure the ting STAY up, it’s time to revisit an important question. Why is the Best Reggae Album category STILL not being broadcast anywhere? It’s not like the world doesn’t love Reggae music. So what’s the problem? When will the reggae massive show some Unity and command respect like the hip-hop massive did back in 1989 before the music was a billion-dollar industry. U-N-I-T-Y is strength. Time to get up stand up for the good of the music. Uzeet. This year marks not only Bob Marley’s 70th birthday but also the 30th anniversary of the Best Reggae Album category. Details After The Jump…

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ZIGGY MARLEY, Fly Rasta
Ziggy’s third Grammy win as a solo artist, to go with the other three he won with the Melody Makers aka his brother Stephen and sisters Cedella and Sharon.

Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees…

SHAGGY featuring Sly & Robbie Out of Many, One Music
Co-produced with the Riddim Twins as well as Sting Intl and Lenky Marsden, the all-star album boasts features from Beres Hammond, Cocoa Tea, Ne-Yo, Joe, Chronixx, Tessanne Chin, and Agent Sasco, Shaggy won in 1996 for Boombastic.

SEAN PAUL,Full Frequency
The Dutty yute won in 2004 for Dutty Rock, also gets his fifth nod.

SLY AND ROBBIE, The Reggae Power, featuring Spicy Chocolate
The drum and bass duo get a second nod on this set featuring Gramps Morgan, Sizzla, Bitty McLean, Beenie Man, TOK, Romain Virgo, Alaine and Ce’Cile.

LEE “SCRATCH” PERRY Back on the Controls
The mad genius of dub won a Grammy in 2003 for Jamaican ET and has been nominated five times.

SOJA Amid The Noise and Haste
The album was produced by Supa Dups and featuress Damian Marley, Jay Boog, Collie Buddz, Nahko, and Michael Franti.

Too bad none of these great artists got to appear on TV. After 31 years this perenially popular category has never appeared on the Grammys’ televised broadcast. Back in ’89 a similar situation went down with the Best Rap Performance award, Yo MTV Raps! organized a boycott of the awards which succeeded in unifying the entire hip-hop nation (with one notable exception who shall  remain nameless) to help uplift their music and culture. The biggest stars of the genre including nominees refused to attend or support the awards in any way until they recognized rap. Guess what? It worked. In 1989 it was Yo MTV Raps. In 2015 it’s Boomshots. Reggae can do the same thing if the biggest stars of the genre are willing to Get Up Stand Up for the good of the music.

After 31 years of Reggae Grammys, some definite trends have begun to emerge. Although his father passed away four years before the Grammys first recognized reggae with its own award,  Ziggy Marley is the all-time Grammy champion. NARAS voters have demonstrated a strong preference for roots over dancehall (just 7 of the 31 winning albums have been primarily dancehall as opposed to roots reggae) and for Marley-affiliated artists over just about everything else. Check the Boomshots bar graph below:

ReggaeGrammyAwardWinners1985-2015

BestReggaeAlbumGrammyWinners

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