The nominations for Best Reggae Album at the 2019 Grammy awards are in. Etana is the first female to be nominated for Best Reggae Album in over two decades. All the nominees should be congratulated for their efforts.
As The World Turns — Black Uhuru
Reggae Forever — Etana
Rebellion Rises — Ziggy Marley
A Matter Of Time — Protoje
44/876 — Sting & Shaggy
Black Uhuru was the first group to win a Grammy for Best Reggae Album for their “Anthem” album in 1985, Shaggy has won one Grammy as well in 1996 for his breakout album “Boombastic”.
Reggae outrider, Sting, has been nominated for 45 Grammy awards and has won 16 gramophone trophies.
Ziggy Marley has won best album in the Reggae category several times; in 1989, 1990, 1998, 2007, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
Protoje and Etana are both first time nominees.
Their reggae brands have a full marketing, branding and management teams working to build multiple ventures around the world daily.
Ziggy Marley, who is closest to the home of the Grammys, the Grammy foundation and Grammy Museum in Los Angeles seems like the most notable player. However, let’s be true, another win on his shelf will do less for his career and for Reggae music than if a newcomer should win.
If the Grammy win does nothing else for Etana or Protoje, it would offer them an improved and much-needed increase to their international profile.
Bob Marley’s legacy lives on, but isn’t it time for the Grammy voters and lobbyists to recognize other viable newcomers and heroes in the genre even if a Marley is on the cards? Some people say that if a Marley is nominated for a Grammy no one else can win regardless of the quality of that person’s music. Pushing the culture forward means recognising new artistes. Reggae does not have be luxury of having singles category in the Grammy awards. Do the voters embrace the idea of diversity and do they know that the same country where Bob Marley made his music also turned out many other great musicians?
Etana’s victory will be a signal of hope for Other up and coming female Reggae singers who take the time to put together quality albums in a time when YouTube Videos and singles are in fashion.
On the other hand the recording academy is yet to acknowledge the young generation of reggae singers like Jah 9, No-Maddz, Tarrus Riley or Jesse Royal. Honouring Protoje with a Grammy is honouring the future of reggae music in its most authentic form.