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'Dripping Blood' shunned because it's gospel? - Tommy Cowan puzzled as Carlene Davis fails to get Grammy nod despite success

Published:Sunday | January 3, 2016 | 12:00 AMCurtis Campbell
Carlene Davis
Tommy Cowan (left) and Carlene Davis.

Veteran producer-artiste manager Tommy Cowan believes Carlene Davis' gospel reggae album, Dripping Blood, has been overlooked by the Grammys because it is a gospel project. The album was one of the more successful reggae albums released in 2015, spending an impressive 16 weeks on the Reggae Billboard chart, peaking at No.2.

Dripping Blood remains in the Top 10, ahead of several albums released by some of the biggest names in reggae music and is the only gospel reggae album to make it to the Billboard reggae top 10. While highlighting that he is grateful for the success of the album, Cowan says he is yet to understand how some albums which performed significantly poorer than Dripping Blood managed to gain Grammy nominations above it.

To make matters worse, last week, compiled a top 10 best reggae albums of 2015 and, again, Dripping Blood was sidelined. In fact, the album was not even acknowledged in the honourable mentions section of the article, unlike Aidonia's Project Sweat and Seanizzle's Music My Way albums, which did unflattering numbers commercially but were still recognised.

Speaking on the Grammys snub, Cowan, who manages Carlene Davis, says perhaps the icon would have been nominated if her album were not gospel.

"This calls for some conversation. Is it because it is a gospel album why it wasn't selected? I am sure it would have qualified otherwise. We met all the right requirements, and one of the things I don't understand is that this album is above some of the others as it relates to sales, and it also spent a longer time on the chart as a result of that," he said.




Cowan said he was disappointed upon seeing the Grammy nominations list without Dripping Blood.

"The first thing that I did was to see if we were considered among the other nominees. Then when I saw that it wasn't there, I felt they were shunning it because it's gospel. At the end of the day, we deserved to be in the Grammys, but we give thanks for the success and we will follow up with another effort [in 2016]. We hope to climb the charts again and keep the momentum going," he said.

Dripping Blood won a Martin International Award last year in Florida. Cowan says winning that award, along with several performances executed by Davis in the Caribbean, New York and Florida, helped boost the popularity of the album.

"We are in Christian book stores and that also expanded sales for us, plus VP Records and Universal did a good job marketing the project," he revealed.

Carlene Davis has released more than 10 albums and was named Best Female Vocalist at the Caribbean Music Awards in 1990.

Cowan is also the organiser of popular gospel festival Fun In The Son, which will be held later this year.