International reggae singer Richie Stephens is on a musical high after his video clip for the song ‘Live Your Life,’ won the award for ‘Best Music Video’ at the 2012 International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) that was staged at Washington Park, Chicago last Saturday. So far Stephens has racked up 12 awards for 2012 including three (3) ‘Lifetime Achievement Awards,’ four (4) ‘Song of the Year’ awards, a ‘USA Congressional Proclamation,’ two (2) ‘Achievement Awards’ and ‘Best International Song’ for 2011.
I want to thank all my fans and well wishers for the love” he said in an interview moments after accepting the award. “This year I have been blessed with great new songs, wonderful shows and outstanding performances. Who would have thought that after the devastating loss of my son in 2010, I would have come back so strong in 2012. This is how I know that my God is real!
Stephens whirlwind year started with a memorable performance at the 16th annual Jazz & Blues Festival in Trewlany, Jamaica, where he was presented with an ‘Achievement Award’ for his twenty seven year contribution to the reggae industry. A few days later his tribute song ‘Live Your Life’ with Gentleman was voted ‘Song of the Year 2011’ on New York’s Irie Jam Radio.
In February, Stephens and Gentleman accepted the ‘Best International Song’ 2011 for ‘Live Your Life’ at the Stone Love Awards in Kingston.
“I am proud of all the accolades I have received this year but the award from Stone Love is extra special as it is an endorsement from the streets for what we are doing internationally” he noted.
Stephens was then honored with a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ and “Song Of The Year’ at the third annual Linkage Awards in March. In June, he was the recipient of a a USA Congressional Proclamation from Gregory Meeks (the USA Representative for New York’s 6th congressional district) at the Third Annual LI Caribbean-American International Festival at Eisenhower Park in Long Island. Stephens, who brought the curtain down on the festival, was in fine nick, delivering vintage hits like ‘Winner,’ ‘Trying To Get To You,’ ‘Fight Back’ and the all time classic ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ that earned him a well earned standing ovation.
Besides singles ‘Warrior,’ ‘The Gospel Medley’ and ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ featuring DJ of the moment Konshens, Stephens released a new gospel album titled ‘God Is On My Side.’ The 12 track disc, which was released on the VP Records imprint, includes powerful original songs like ‘Tears,’ ‘In The Name of God’ and traditional gospel songs like ‘Why Me Lord,’ ‘Only A Fool and ‘A Change Is Gonna Come.’ An album of duets titled ‘Live Your Life’ with his friend Gentleman will be released later this year by VP Records.