Caribbean Music Awards Honor Iconic Artistes Beres Hammond, Machel Montano, David Rudder, and Vybz Kartel

Hosted By Wyclef Jean Live From Flatbush, Brooklyn

Inspired by the Palace of Versailles and the Paris Opera House, Kings Theatre on Flatbush Avenue was the appropriately illustrious setting for the first annual Caribbean Music Awards last Thursday night. Hosted by Wyclef Jean and produced by Caribbean Elite Group and streamed via Tempo Networks, this grand celebration of Caribbean creativity honoring icons and rising stars of reggae, dancehall, soca, and kompa was perfectly timed, coming just before Brooklyn’s Labor Day festivities and near the end of a year that’s been filled with endless celebrations of Hip Hop’s 50th anniversary. Boomshots TV was on the scene from the star-studded red carpet throughout the amazing four-hour ceremony. “Family” said Elite Award Winner Beres Hammond, addressing the audience of 3,600 inside the ornate venue and many more tuning into the live stream. “I’m seeing something that’s so beautiful to us—Caribbean people coming together. You don’t see something like this… I’m out of words.” He then called Wyclef to join him onstage. The Haitian-American multi-platinum rapper, singer, songwriter, musician, and producer whose timeless work as a member of the Fugees and as a solo performer brought Caribbean sounds to the mainstream, bowed down at Hammond’s feet in worship. “Can’t manage you,” Beres said with a laugh as Clef stood up. “Thank you for the vision.”  Video and Winners List After The Jump…

Caribbean Music Awards Vision

A statement on the Caribbean Music Awards website sets forth the vision of an event curated by Caribbean people for Caribbean people. “Because of the immense talent in the Caribbean diaspora, we thought it imperative to award and spotlight the incredible talent and achievements of the past, celebrate present day contributors, and provide incentives to keep providing exceptional content, staying true to the rich culture…  With the launch of an event like this with epic production value on an international scale, the Caribbean voices will be given a stage to spark growth in the creative community. Not only will this be a one-of-a-kind experience, but it will be a catalyst for change. It is now time for the artistes, producers, DJs, everyone involved in the industry to try to advance their own. This event will be a large tribute to the culture, and it will also be a universal call for Caribbean people to rally, come out in their numbers to support and inspire greater development of the region on a whole.”

“This is a very unique award show, and it’s only gonna keep growing,” says Wyclef, who not only hosted the CMAs but worked behind the scenes to manifest the vision. “I was there for the first Source Awards, and I wanna tell y’all something… Everybody is always good to blame. They’ll always say what’s wrong. But we not here for what’s wrong. We here to make what’s wrong right.”

For Cham the award ceremony comes as the culmination of a very successful summer. “We did the 50 concerts with Busta,” says Cham. “Then we did Rock the Bells with Swizz. But this is our roots. This is the Caribbean Music Awards, and it’s ours. You have to be here. Nawmean?”

“As the Queen of Dancehall I always try to represent for the genre, represent for the culture,” says Spice, who appeared at this year’s BET Awards and was nominated for a Grammy last year. “Here at the Caribbean Music Awards, that’s exactly whsat I’m here to do. I could not have missed something like this that is representing us. I’ve been to a lot of awards shows oftentimes that don”t belong to us, but this is for us. So why wouldn’t I be here? I’m excited to see all of my friends, my brother my sister them. I can’t wait to see Twinkle—I tell her when I see here I’m gonna jump and hug her up. And I just saw Baby Cham who plays a big role in my career. And Machel Montano… I always tell people this, no matter which part of the Caribbean you come from, we are still part of the Caribbean.

Performers included Wayne Wonder, Alison Hinds, Jada Kingdom, Dexta Daps, Kranium, Nailah Blackman, Ding Dong, Rupee, Baby Cham, Toni-Ann Singh, Romain Virgo, Angela Hunte, Farmer Nappy, and Skinny Fabulous. The event also featured appearances from Doug E. Fresh, Skeng, Mya, Spice, Morgan Heritage, and Michael Rainey Jr., a Jamaican-American star of the TV show Power who recently obtained full Jamaican citizenship.

The Caribbean Elite Group already has the 2024 awards show in the works. They producers plan to select a new location each year including the Caribbean Islands. “This will help to showcase the unique culture of each island,” they said in a statement, “and give us the opportunity to work collaboratively with many Caribbean brands, creatives, and entertainers.” Here’s to all the future greatness to come.

Caribbean Music Awards 2023
Winners List

Elite icon award: Beres Hammond

Lifetime achievement award: Machel Montano

Elite Calypso Music Award: David Rudder

Humanitarian award: The Buju Banton Foundation

Artist of the decade: Vybz Kartel

Female artist of the year (dancehall): Spice

Male artist of the year (dancehall): Ding Dong

Male artist of the year (reggae): Beres Hammond

Female artist of the year (soca): Patrice Roberts

Male artist of the year (soca): Machel Montano

Album of the year (dancehall): Masicka438

Album of the year (reggae): Kabaka Pyramid, The Kalling

EP of the year (dancehall): AlkalineThe Ripple EFFX

Dance song of the year (all genres): Ding Dong, “BOUNCE

Collaboration of the year (soca): GBM Nutron & DJ Spider, “Down Dey

Collaboration of the year (dancehall/reggae): Skeng & Nicki Minaj, “Likkle Miss

Video of the year (dancehall/reggae): Popcaan & Toni-Anne Singh, “Next to Me

Video of the year (soca): Patrice Roberts, “Mind My Business

Performer of the year (dancehall): Dexta Daps

Performer of the year (soca): Mr. Killa

Impact award (dancehall): Chronic Law

Impact award (reggae): Kabaka Pyramid

Impact award (soca): Viking Ding Dong

People’s choice award: Kes

Best new artist (dancehall): Valiant

Best new artist (reggae): Samora

Best new artist (soca): Tempa

Kompa band of the year: Klass

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