Hip Hop legend, LL Cool J, unhappy over the possibility of missing the 15th Annual Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest in Jamaica next month, has vowed to deliver a memorable first time performance at the Montego Bay concert on July 20th.
LL, much to the excitement of Summerfest Production officials, is on the bill of “The Greatest Reggae Show On Earth,” a move that emphasizes his love for the Jamaican people, music and culture, said Summerfest’s Johnny Gourzong yesterday. Early reports had surfaced that the singer had to cancel due to a pressing personal matter.
But yesterday LL’s management team said the singer has slotted in Sumfest especially because he did not want to disappoint his legion of fans who are set to descend on Montego Bay for the July 15-21 ‘world’s best’ reggae festival.
Todd Smith, aka LL Cool J (Ladies Love Cool James), has come a long way from his origins in St. Albans, Queens. From his early days of rapping in front of the mirror in his bedroom while The Sugar Hill Gang boomed from his radio, LL has always been determined to be a winner in the game.
LL Cool J has received two Grammy Awards, penned his autobiography ‘I Make My Own Rules,’ and is the first rap artist to amass six consecutive platinum-plus selling albums and six gold singles. He’s popularized many hits on the hip hop scene – from “I Can’t Live Without My Radio,” “I’m Bad'” “Boomin’ System” and “Mama Said ?Knock You Out.” And he’s also hit the big screen, appearing in several films. He is one of a few hip-hop stars of his era to sustain a successful recording career for more than two decades. He has released 12 albums and reinvented himself – looks and musically in recent years – with duets with other artists such as Jennifer Lopez. His latest album, Exit 13, was released last September.
LL will join R&B’s reigning queen Mary J. Blige as part of the incredible line-up. Blige is set to perform on the final night of the show, July 21st. Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest is set for July 15-21 in the Vibes City of Montego Bay.
Blige is a phenomenal artist known for hits like “Be Without You”, ‘No More Drama,’ and ‘Not Gon’ Cry.’ She last performed in Jamaica in 1997 at the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival and continues to dominate the charts with her album The Breakthrough. She is recognized as one of today’s brightest R&B stars and was the winner of nine Billboard Music Awards and two American Music Awards in 2006, and three Grammy awards.
Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest kicks off on Sunday July 15th, with a Beach Party featuring the Fab 5 band as well as popular sound systems and deejays. It continues on Thursday July 19th with Xplosion featuring a stellar line-up of the hottest reggae stars under the sun. They include Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Cham, Elephant Man, Movado, Lady Saw, Vybz Kartel, Vegas, Anthony B, Chuck Fenda, Wayne Marshall, Macka Diamond, Ninja Man, Voice Mail, Busy Signal, Aidonia, Gyptian, Lutan Fyah, Kip Rich and Munga Honourable.
On Friday night, July 20th, fans can get ready for Evolution, with LL, Shaggy, Beres Hammond, Buju ‘The Driver’ Banton, Morgan Heritage, Richie Spice, Da’Ville, Etana and Christopher Martin.
The curtains come down on the reggae party of the year on Saturday July 21st with Blige, Tanya Stephens, Tarrus Riley, Cherine Anderson, Tessanne Chin and Bajan sensation, Alison Hinds.
The media launch party is set for the S.O.B’s nightclub, 204 Varick Street at West Houston in Manhattan from 7 p.m. tonight and is being presented this year by VP Records. Media practitioners will be able to mingle with Summerfest officials and sponsors while toasting with ice cold Red Stripe.
For travel packages and more information, log on to www.reggaesumfest.com.