Dancehall star Mr. Vegas made an impassioned plea to reggae music fans to give as much as possible toward disaster relief in Japan in the wake of the devastation caused by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. After rocking the eclectic crowd at the Jamrock for Japan benefit concert at SOBs in New York City this past Monday, Mr. Vegas went through the crowd soliciting and collecting additional donations. Proceeds from Jamrock for Japan will be donated to the American Red Cross for Japan disaster relief by event promoter Jamrock Magazine.
Raising nearly $2,000 from admission fees, Jamrock Magazine publisher David ‘Squeeze’ Annakie promised to match Jamrock for Japan donations, citing that he has also donated close to $30,000 toward disaster relief through his BioLife Energy Systems company.
A well-known humanitarian, Mr. Vegas went through the crowd twice with a bucket collecting $500 in additional audience donations.
“From I was a little youth, I’ve seen people coming from way over Japan to Jamaica just to hear and support our music,” Jamaican-born Clifford “Mr. Vegas” Smith said during his appeal. “We want the Japanese people to know that God nah sleep, and we are here to support them.”
Thrilling the sizeable crowd with a rousing performance that included his hits “I Am Blessed,” “Heads High,” “Nuh Friend From Them,” “Tek Weh Yuhself,” and “Hot Wuk,” Mr. Vegas also performed smash singles from Soca stars JW and Blaze, and Dancehall icons Chakka Demus & Pliers and Buju Banton. With cheers from the crowd, he pulled two Japanese reggae lovers from the audience to help him with the words to Beenie Man’s “Romie.”
On March 11th, the Northeast coast of Japan was devastated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami that killed nearly 14,000 people, and left over 130,000 survivors without homes, according to the Japanese National Police Agency. Over a month later, Japan still lives under the threat of a nuclear catastrophe due to damage to Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.