Minister of Culture Olivia 'Babsy' Grange announced that music stars Shaggy, Marcia Griffiths, and Ken Boothe will be honored during the nation’s Independence celebrations on Thursday, August 6.
With the pandemic still being around, the artists will be presented with Jamaica Reggae Icon Awards at the virtual edition annual Grand Gala in keeping up with restrictions on gatherings to reduce the spread of COVID-19. “COVID has forced us to change many things, but it will not stop us celebrating our country and outstanding Jamaicans who’ve been such great role models and inspirations, not only for us but for the people of the world. It is a great joy to express, on behalf of the nation, our great love and appreciation to Shaggy, Marcia, and Ken,” the minister said.
“Only the awardees, performers, technical, organizing, and management teams will be allowed at the venue. However, we have made arrangements for Jamaicans at home and abroad to watch the event live on TVJ and PBCJ, and social media. And it will be a great show,” Grange said.
This year will feature presentations in music, drama, song, and dance focused on the theme ‘Wheel and Come Again’. "Wheel and Come Again is really our aspiration. It is a call to all of us to look at our current circumstances, much of it caused by the pandemic, and to assess, come up with a plan and go again like the resilient and strong Jamaicans that we are,” said Grange.
The event will also feature popular local artistes including the 2020 Jamaica Festival Song winner, Buju Banton, Kemar Highcon, Beenie Man, Dre Island, Christopher Martin, Tessanne Chin, Wayne Marshall, Kevin Downswell, Kukudoo, Chevaughn, Ikaya, Shereita, and Richie Stephens.
The show will begin at 4:00 pm with L’Acadco, Dance Xpressionz and Citi Dance Company set to perform and with the Armed Forces Day Parade and the National Flag Raising Ceremony.
“Each year after the Grand Gala, we would have street parties in major towns across the island, but the reality of COVID-19 means we cannot do that this year,” said Grange.