When Stephen ‘Cat’ Coore walked across the stage on night two of Reggae Sumfest 2020 to collect this year's Lifetime Achievement Award, he was satisfied with the award. A huge smile lit over his face as he beamed with delight while collecting his plaque from Downsound Entertainment’s CEO Joe Bogdanovich. When requested to say a few words by host Miss Kitty, many may also have anticipated Coore to go in a lengthy list of accomplishments that caused the band being decided as this year's recipients of the noble award. Instead, humbled by the honor of which he did not expect, Coore devoted the award to his fellow musicians who, due to COVID-19, have not been able to successfully practice their craft.
In an interview after leaving the stage, Coore stated that in the band’s 46 year history, they'd in no way witnessed something like the COVID-19 pandemic. He stated that having seen how the virus has affected the music industry, he felt it fitting to devote the award to his colleagues as a method of encouraging them to live the path despite all that has happened. “This was going to be a great year for us all when everything kinda just came to a standstill. This thing (Coronavirus) has really devastated the entertainment industry. But it was just remarkable when I came here tonight and saw everyone looking so upbeat. The comradery among the musicians, the artistes, the production crew was just really special to witness, and it should be even more that this honour, although it is a lifetime achievement award for Third World, is really for the industry. As a band, we couldn’t have done this alone, and so as we all try to rise out of this pandemic, I want this award to be a testimony that together, we can achieve anything,” he stated.
Lauding the Reggae Sumfest group for highlighting the band’s musical accomplishments, Coore stated he was surprised when he was called as he did not expect to be recognized especially with the current climate in music. “This is not exactly the time one is thinking about awards, but that’s what makes this so special. When hard work gets ready to pay off, it doesn’t have a timeline. We’ve done a lot of hard work throughout the years, we’ve taken a lot of hits, and we’ve had lots of highs and lows. This is a definite high and an unexpected one at that,” he said. “I give thanks for the 46 years we’ve had as a band in this business, and I feel blessed to be recognized for all those years we’ve dedicated.”
Over the years, Third World has been awarded numerous accolades for their contribution to reggae music. They had been nominated for the Reggae Grammy award 9 times, which includes the 2020 awards staged back in February. Coore says that even though the band was looking forward to winning the award this time round for their 'More Work To Be Done' album, the Sumfest Lifetime Achievement Award makes up for the golden gramophone in some ways. “Any award given by our people is extra special, so this means a lot. This makes up for the Grammy because it comes at an extraordinary time. As I said, with everything going on, the last thing we expected was to be getting an award, and so we give thanks for it.”
Third World is one of the longest-current reggae bands of all time and one of Jamaica’s most consistently popular crossover acts amongst the global audiences. Mixing in factors of R&B, funk, pop, rock and, later on, dancehall and rap, Third World’s style has been defined as ‘reggae-fusion’. Their catalogue of charted break hits consists of: Now That We Found Love, 96 Degrees in the Shade, and Try Jah Love.