International R&B artistes Ne-Yo, Jazmine Sullivan and Keri Hilson on Sunday walked away with coveted BET Awards. The three are scheduled to perform on International Night I of this years’ Reggae Sumfest. Newcomers Hilson and Sullivan pocketed the Best New Artiste and the Centric award respectively, while Ne-Yo copped the Best Male R&B Artiste award. Reggae Sumfest, which is now in its 17th year, is regarded as the greatest reggae show on Earth, and Johnny Gourzong, executive director of Summerfest Productions – organisers of the Festival – said that he is elated the three artistes won these awards.
“Boy, I’m really happy for them. It just goes to show you that we know what we’re doing when we say we’re giving patrons an explosion of entertainment each year.”
A member of The Clutch group of producers, Hilson is as talented a singer as she is a writer. The bombshell beauty has penned songs for the likes of Usher, Diddy, Ciara, Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige, Omarion, The Pussycat Dolls, and Britney Spears. Her first album, In A Perfect World, was released earlier this year and made it to the top spot on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It was also number four on the Billboard Top Album Chart in the week of its debut.
Jazmine Sullivan broke on the international scene with the help of rap and hip-hop icon Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliot and has since enjoyed solid runs on charts, radio stations, and concert venues worldwide. She hit a note with music lovers when she released Need You Bad, and struck gold again when she followed up with Bust Your Windows and Lions, Tigers and Bears. Come Friday July 25, she’ll add the Reggae Sumfest stage to her growing repertoire of worldwide performances, and write her name in the annals of Reggae Sumfest history.
Ne-Yo broke into the industry after Let Me Love You, a song he wrote for American singer Mario, reached number-one on the Billboard Hot 100, and later stayed on the top spot for nine weeks, becoming one of the most-played songs in the United States. In early 2006, Ne-Yo released his debut album, In My Own Words, through Def Jam. Boosted by its popular second single, So Sick, the album debuted at number one on Billboard 200. His second album, Because of You, was released in May 2007 and, fueled by its lead single, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Ne-Yo’s third album, Year of the Gentleman, was released in September 2008, debuting on the Billboard 200 at number two.
Summerfest Productions will take over Montego Bay from July 19-25 for the 17th staging of the world’s greatest reggae festival – Reggae Sumfest, so get ready to be infected by Reggae Sumfest fever.