By: Joseph Cunningham
Photography By: Milton Raynor
It was a night with a difference, a special night, signifying the dawn of a new day in Jamaican music. It was the first staging of the Reggae Academy Awards. It signified a new day because, it represented an award concept in Reggae that got the nod of approval from a wider audience of experts.
"And the award for the Best Solo Male Dancehall Vocalist goes to"; and fans seated towards the back of National Indoor Sports Centre, bellowed, "Busy Signal!" Much to everyone's delight, he was announced the winner. The ceremony was void of ridiculous surprises, and so all received their just rewards.
On entering the venue, YardFlex observed that something special was about to take place. The National Indoor Sports Centre had been given an ambiance, that shouted, "This is something first-world and first class." The stage, lighting, big screens, sound effects the show host and performances, all displayed the handy work of what must have been a highly skilled and trained production team.
The introductions ended and the presentations began. At the end of it all Omar "Tarrus" Riley was the toast of the ceremony, winning in the categories, "Best Breakthrough Artiste 2007," "Best Solo Male Vocalist," "Most Popular Song" - "She Royal" and "Best Reggae Song."
Other winners on the night were:
Best Reggae Album - Stephen Marley
Best Reggae Compilation Album (Executive Producer's Award) - Jamdown Riddim Driven, Delmar Drummond/Dangerzone
Best International Artist – Collie Buddz
Best Dancehall Rhythm - Steven McGregor
Best Dub Recording or Album - Live As One Album, Zion Train
Best Dancehall Vocal Performance (Duo, Group) - Love Is Wicked, Brick and Lace
Best Producer - Stephen Marley
Best Solo Male Dancehall Vocalist - Busy Signal
Best Dancehall Album - Shaggy, Intoxication
Best Dancehall Video Director – Jay Will
Best Reggae Vocal Performance (Duo, Group, Collaboration) – On My Mind, Da'Ville & Sean Paul
Best Gospel Song (Songwriter's Award) - Can't Stop Now, Kemoy Rowe, William Barclay and Courick Clarke
Best Instrumental - Robbie Lyn, Making Notes
Best Reggae Riddim (Producer's Award) - Guardian Angel,Arif Cooper/Fresh Ear
Best Gospel Song, Katalyst Crew
Best Gospel Album-Prodigal Son
Best Dancehall Compilation (two or more artiste Big Ship Music)
(Executive Producer's Award) - Tremor Riddim Driven, Stephen McGregor
Best Break-Through Male Dancehall Artist- Munga Honourable
Best Solo Female Reggae Vocalist – Etana
Best Solo Performance - Lady Saw
Best Gospel Music Video (Video Director's Award) - Gully People Supen, Abdrew Grey
Most Popular Artiste - Beenie Man
Reggae Icon Award- Bob Marley
Reggae Trailblazer Award - Chris Blackwell
Reggae Living Legend Award- Ernest Ranglin