With the “History of Jamaica’s indigenous Music” as the theme for this year’s highly anticipated Irie Jamboree festival, executives announced that veteran reggae crooners Freddy McGregor, Ken Boothe and Sugar Minott, who collectively have blessed the world with some of the biggest reggae classics will each be honored with “Irie Jamboree Lifetime Achievement Awards” for their outstanding contribution to the reggae industry.
“”Freddy, Ken and Sugar Minott have not only had a huge impact on reggae in Jamaica but they have transformed the music as a whole internationally” a beaming Louie Grant, VP of Irie Jam Media said.
Known worldwide for his riveting reggae ballads, McGregor began his musical career in the early 60’s under the musical direction of the legendary Coxone Dodd. In 1972 he formed the Generation Gap band, recording “Homeward Bound” and “Justice & Equality” for producer Geoffrey Chung. After the demise of the group, he launched his solo career, mining gold with “Big Ship” which broke into the top ten of the reggae charts in England and Jamaica. Since then he has amassed an impressive catalogue of hits including “Push Come To Shove,” “Africa Here I Come,” “I Was Born A Winner,” “Let Them Try,” “Prophecy” and “So I Will Wait For You.” During his 46 years, McGregor has received numerous accolades including an International Award of Merit from the Canadian Reggae Music Award and an award for Best International Artist from the BBC Radio London Reggae Awards. In 2003 he was awarded the Order of Distinction (OD) by the Jamaican Government for his contribution to Jamaican music.
In a musical career that spans over 40th years, singer/songwriter Ken Boothe garnered international notoriety, with hit songs “When I Fall In Love,” “Every Thing I Own,” “Artibella” and “Movin Away.” He gained further acclaim when he teamed with Shaggy on a remake of his popular single “The Train Is Coming” that was featured on the soundtrack of the movie “The Money Train” starring Wesley Snipes.
The legendary Sugar Minott – born Lincoln Barrington Minott – was a driving force behind Youth Promotion, which is credited with exposing young, talented reggae acts like Junior Reid, Yami Bolo, Don Angelo, Nitty Gritty, the late Tenor Saw and Garnett Silk. Minott also enjoyed success as a solo artiste, scoring with “No Vacancy”, “Herbman Hustling” and “Devil Pinckney” which are virtual anthems in the dancehall.
Also to be honored, newly crowned ‘King of the Dancehall’ Beenie Man, who will receive the 2009 “Reggae Soldier Award” for 30 years of outstanding contribution to the reggae industry while Platinum selling reggae icon Shaggy, the biggest crossover success in dancehall and the genre’s most commercially potent artist on the international market will be presented with the ‘Reggae Ambassador’ award. Veteran New York based dancehall DJ Mikey “Mac Daddy” Jarrett, who in 1983, was crowed “Dancehall King of Brooklyn” and Shinehead whose debut single “Who The Cap Fits (Let Them Wear It)” was a big hit in the USA and his cover version of Sting’s “Englishman In New York” peaked at #30 on the UK Sngles chart in 1993 will be honored with ‘New York Industry Awards.’ The awards will be presented at Irie Jamboree 2009 on Labor Day Sunday, September 6 at York College Outdoor Complex in Queens, NY.
This year’s festival will be filled with excitement and magic given the diversity of the lineup and will have special significance for the Big Ship family as Freddy will share the stage with his son Chino and label mate Laden who are all confirmed performers.
Grant said key members of Team Irie Jamboree will be heading to Kingston on August 18th to host the Jamaica launch party at the Asylum nightclub there and to conclude negotiations with a popular reggae artiste, whose appearance at the festival could be announced at the launch.
Among the acts confirmed for Irie Jamboree 2009 are Grammy winner Sean Paul, Mr. Vegas, TOK, Assassin, Spice, Chino, Barbee, Anthony Cruz and Laden who will perform in the ‘Dancehall Hotshots” segment. Pinchers, Daddy Lizard, Shinehead, Flourgon and Lady G will be featured in the “80s/90s Rub A Dub Session;” “The ‘Roots & Culture” segment will feature Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrica, Bushman, Ras Shiloh, Ras Penco, Natural Blacks and Gramps Morgan. Singers Freddy McGregor, Ken Boothe and Sugar Minott will perform in the “Vintage” segment while “Canadian Imports” will feature 2009 JUNO reggae winner Humble and Reggae Music Achievement & Canadian Reggae Music Award winners Steele and Tasha T.