JANUARY: Damian Marley's '"Welcome To Jamrock" rose to number 2 on Billboard's Top Reggae Albums chart while Danielle, known also as Pretty Thug teamed up with Beenie Man to release "Brown Girl In The Ring." Macka Diamond's "Bun Him" topped Jamaican weekly charts for 2 consecutive weeks and Bob Marley’s latest Greatest Hits package surfaced with the previously unreleased song "Slogan." Sadly, Reggae lost another great ambassador, Brent Dowe of The Melodians, who was 59 years old. Reggae industry players petitioned Grammy Awards organisers to include the Reggae presentation during the live show to be viewed worldwide - to no avail.
FEBRUARY: Sean Paul's album "The Trinity" followed fast and furiously behind his previous Billboard chart toppers to be certified gold in the US. Portia Simpson's rise to the PNP's number 1 position prompted D'Angel's release of the single "Woman Power." D'Angel said, 'I think that this song is an important one because it sends a clear message to women that they can succeed at the highest level of politics and business if they just stick to their guns." At the same time, D'Angel's single, "Death Row," that jabs at obsessive controlling men - rocked the charts. Mr Vegas spoke of a possible 100% Soca immersion project as his collaborative Reggae/Soca mix with Machel Montana surfaced.
MARCH: YardFlex Magazine was launched to a readership of approximately 50,000 in Jamaica. Gregory Isaacs broke a five year absence form US stages to play for capacity audiences at Bob Marley festivals. He was accompanied by prominent band Live Wyya. Kings of Kings produced the annual Western Consciousness show that was held in Savanna-La-Mar's Llandilo Cultural Centre this year. Sting received CVM TV Award for The Most Secured Show for 2005. Ding Dong, the agile hit maker of "Bad Man Forward Bad Man Pull Up," was featured in a documentary on dancehall dancing. Beenie Man announces his engagement to D'Angel and teamed up with Don Mafia and D'Angel to launch Mafia House Productions
APRIL: Carnival controversy reared its ugly head once more as preachers, sociologists and scholars lament on the downward spiral in the focus on values while carnival clashed with Easter traditions. Class discrimination and hypocrisy weighed in on the negative side, while the boost to the island's economy has secured Carnival's new role in Jamaican culture. Turbulence released "Notorious," and Sizzla contemplated a shift from Def Jam Music Group while Chuck Fenders's "Gash Dem and Light Dem" was banned, according to Jamaican electronic media regulations to which the Broadcasting Commission must adhere.
MAY: Jovi was included in Mr Vegas and Machel Montana's video shot in Times Square, while Zebra returned with the single, "Stocky." The Tastee Talent Contest saw a revival of good old time singing in 2006. Organisers cited the prize to enter UK's unsigned talent contest as possibly having been an incentive for this. Reggae Soul Diva Etana hit with the single "Wrong Address," while "Gangsta Guerilla's" Mr. Peppa kicked ball at the Irie Jam Celebrity Soccer Match in New York. Spice suffered at the hands of home invaders, loosing over J$200,000 in valuables and Macka Diamond won Best Female Rapper/DJ Award at the International Reggae and World Music Awards held at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Best male vocalist went to the incarcerated Jah Cure.
JUNE: Computer Paul unleashed new girl group Make Boys Cry (MBC) onto the US mainstream market with an assignment that saw the ladies lay vocals to platinum rapper TI's tracks. Ras Kassa, director of Welcome To Jamrock video co-directed Sean Paul's "Never Gonna Be The Same" video alongside Jesse Terreno, director of 50 Cent's Candy Shop video. Elephant Man announced he will be working with Bad Boy stable's P Diddy who is slated to produce 2 cuts on his next album, "Over The 'wall," that will feature Lil John, Busta Rymes and Mya. Angel Shalome and Sizzla Kalonji released "Good Loving," to warm up the music scene as did Sasha and Turbulence's "We Got Love," in days gone by.
JULY: Louise Simone Bennett Coverly - Miss Lou passed away in a Toronto area hospital on July 25, 2006 and Christine Hewitt was laid to rest following a gruesome fatal attack. Alicia Keys graced Jamaica's shores to collaborate with Baby Sham on his hit single, "Ghetto Story," and Remy Ma appeared at lady Saw's Birthday Bash as well as Saddle To The East benefit concert. Ce'cile took her successful US tour to Europe, where she is planning to launch a clothing line in the near future. Tony Matterhorn received his first number 1 hit in Jamaica with "Dutty Wine," while Buju Banton performed to sold out venues on his 25 city European tour. Gordon Lee and Deborah Cole's Shoshannah marked her sweet sixteenth milestone.
AUGUST: J$50 Bob Marley coins released to commemorate the Reggae icon's 60th birthday - they went on sale at Bank of Jamaica. Joseph "Culture" Hill passed away in Germany. Sunsplash returned as the bMobile Reggae Sunsplash at the Richmond Estates in St Ann. Freddie McGregor produced a documentary on Trinidad and Jamaica. With a Beenie boy on the way, D'Angel and Beenie Man tied the knot in an all white elaborate wedding. MTV's Video Music Awards featured four Caribbean artists as nominees: Wyclef Jean - Haiti, Rihanna - Barbadoes, Daddy Yankee - Puerto Rico and Sean Paul - Jamaica. Prodigy spoke out on his aspirations to minister in the dancehall using Reggae Gospel - he feels conscious lyricists and gospel artists should be aligned. Sara Lawrence was crowned Miss Jamaica 2006 and Assasin received an RDI scholarship to pursue a degree in Business management.
SEPTEMBER: Former lovers Sasha and Turbulence turned into rivals with Turbulence recording, "No Man No Perfect," and Sasha returning fire with, "Got what You Need." Buju Banton and Beenie Man continue to be under the extreme scrutiny of gay rights activists as a Los Angeles originated letter circulated in an appeal to halt their California performances. Idonia was featured at Reggae Boyz pre game show. Delly Ranks left Voicemail while Junior Reid and Tony Matterhorn joined Billboard charters. Judy Mowatt performed at a London Gospel Explosion and Rita Marley announced Africa Unite to be held in South Africa for 2007. Italian singer, Alborosie created a stir with his release of the single "Herbalist."
OCTOBER: Dutty Wine dancing blamed in death of Tanisha Henry. Leftside and Esco lend their creative star power to the Smirnoff Ice Press Play Riddim Competition - challenge. Busy Signal released "Step Out" independently. KC Jockey earns minor film roles on small and big screen - most recent being a stint on "American Gangsta" and "Sesame Street." RE High School Tour urged abstinence or safe sex. Top dancehall artists and Jamaica AIDS Support provided Prevention Education for HIV and STDs. Selah joined Ras Kassa to shoot video for "Lonely Girl" that has gained popularity worldwide. Sociocultural anthropologist and talk show host, Dr Kinglsey "Ragashanti" Stewart was kidnapped from a UWI parking lot and released unharmed once he was recognized by assailants as someone who "helps poor people."
NOVEMBER: Shottas was released on the big screen in some US cities. The crisp brand new version is being distributed by Sony Pictures. Luciano changed personal managers. The amicable split leaves former personal manager, Copeland Forbes still handling booking and tour management. Sizzla released "The Overstanding. Junior Gong rocked at the annual Black Ball held in New York city to raise funds for Alicia Keys' pet project, Keep a Child Alive, a foundation that funds orphans infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. The group One Third became a hot ticket item after winning the Rising Stars competition. D’Angel and Beenie Man welcome their son Marco into the world. Peter Tosh's M16 "Freedom Fighter" guitar saved from going on the auction block.
DECEMBER: Busy Signal's "Step Out" became a bona fide hit giving him new found fame. Welcome To Jamrock touted as possibly the holiday season’s best staging overall. Da'Ville performed to amazing response in Negril. Etan, Mr.Peppa, Sizzla, Buju Banton and I Wayne were among those who kept the positive spirit of Sting afloat this year. There were unfortunate violent outbursts and lyrical tyranny as well. Beenie and Bounty continue to be at odds with verbal warfare manifested through cutting insults. Air Supply gave an awesome performance and Judy Mowatt's annual birthday bash continued to breathe new life into the community of Bath, St Thomas with the production of a combination health fair and Gospel concert.