Remembering The Greatest One Night Reggae and Dancehall Show on Earth

When the history of dancehall music is written, 2016 will go down as the year when mainstream stars took over the worldwide pop charts using Jamaican styles and sounds. It will also be remembered as the first Boxing Day in over three decades that went down with a staging of Sting. Sad to say the legendary stage show that has seen some of the most talked about performances—and lyrical clashes—in dancehall history is no more. Just three years after celebrating Sting’s 30th anniversary with a star-studded lineup that included the return of the Don Dada Super Cat, American artists 2 Chainz and Wyclef Jean, and an epic clash between Lady Saw and Macka Diamond, Sting founder Isaiah Laing has called it quits. Despite pledging in years past that “if I am alive there will be Sting,”  Laing made it official on Jamaican television’s popular show OnStage, saying that Sting has not made money in several years—despite significant investment from the likes of Josef Bogdanovich, who has since moved on to revamp another great Jamaican festival, Reggae Sumfest. Laing and his longtime partner Heavy D further noted that the artists who are big enough to draw a crowd are not willing to perform on the show. The clashes that made Sting a sort of musical heavyweight bout eventually came to be its undoing. Who can forget the time when Popcaan had to shove Blak Ryno off the stage because the other artist was “somehow” given a live microphone and allowed to rush the stage during Popcaan’s solo set back in 2012? These types of antics eventually take their toll on artist loyalty. Whether Sting will ever come back is anybody’s guess. Talk of a gospel festival sounds like a major departure from the hardcore format we have come to know and love. For the sake of those who don’t know—and the pleasure of those who do—Boomshots takes a moment to remember the best Sting had to offer. Memories After The Jump… Read more »