In honor more than 40 years together as a vocal trio, the Mighty Diamonds received the Ragga Muffins Festival Award of Recognition on Feb. 21.
Following their performance at the sold out 29th annual Ragga Muffins reggae festival at Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, CA, Fitzroy “Bunny” Simpson, Donald “Tabby” Shaw and Lloyd “Judge” Ferguson were presented with trophies on behalf on the festival and Moss Jacobs Presents.
“The blessings are there, and we are here to share them; that’s the most important thing,” said Shaw, who has been the Mighty Diamonds’ lead vocalist since he was a teenager.
The Mighty Diamonds were backed by Jamaica’s Yellow Wall Dub Squad and California’s Celebrity Hornz. Backstage after the show, the Diamonds mingled and posed for photos with the likes of Tarrus Riley, Edi Fitzroy, the Wailing Souls and actor Leon. The Diamonds last performed at the Ragga Muffins Festival in 1994.
In November, 2009, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke recognized the Mighty Diamonds with a Congressional Proclamation for their 40 years of hits and contributions to the music industry, when TSO Productions and the Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music held their 5th annual Reggae Culture Salute at Nazareth High School Performance Center, Brooklyn, NY.
Also in November of 2009, the Diamonds released a remake of one of their first hits, “Country Living” (originally done by the Stylistics) produced by the England based Simba on his Small Storm label and distributed by the High Times label. The recording features Shaw’s nephew, Wilburn “Squidly” Cole (drums) and Winston “Bo Pee” Bowen (guitar).
In 2006, following their performance at Reggae Sunsplash in Ocho Rios, the Diamonds received a prestigious national award from former prime minister Portia Simpson Miller for their artistic contribution to Jamaican culture.
Known for hits such as “Pass the Kutchie,” “Right Time,” “Master Plan” “Tamarind Farm,” “Reggae Street” and “Sweet Lady,” the Mighty Diamonds formed
in Trench Town Jamaica in 1969.
The Mighty Diamonds’ breakthrough album “Right Time,” elevated the group to rock star status in 1975. Produced by Joseph Hoo Kim, “Right Time” brought together the Jamaican musical elite such as Sly and Robby (drum and bass) and Ancel Collins
(keyboards) generated hits such as “Africa,” “Have Mercy” “Natural Natty,” “Them Never Love Poor Marcus” and the reggae party album, “Pass the Kutchie,” which has been sampled by everyone from Lauryn Hill to Michael
Franti to Wyclef Jean.
The Mighty Diamonds have also released their latest single, “Special Lady,” a remake of Ray, Goodman and Brown’s 1980’s ballad, on their independent label, Street Corner Music.