Fri | Mar 23, 2018

Fantasia headlines Blues on the Green

Published:Monday | February 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Sam Smith

The US Embassy in Kingston has announced that Fantasia will headline Blues on the Green 2016. With hits such as I Believe, When I See You, and Truth Is, Fantasia's performance promises to celebrate the beauty and depth of the African-American experience. The theme for this year is 'Out of Many, One!'

Also performing will be reggae-dancehall fusion singer-songwriter Christopher Martin and roots rock reggae band Raging Fyah. Paula-Anne Porter Jones will be the master of ceremonies.

Blues on the Green 2016 will be held on Friday, February 26, at Emancipation Park, New Kingston. The family-friendly concert is free and everyone is welcome. Seating begins at 6 and the show starts at 7 p.m.

The concert commemorates African-American History Month. Every February, Americans reflect on the contributions of African-Americans to the society and ongoing efforts to deliver the founders' democratic promise to all citizens.

Joshua Polacheck, the Embassy's counsellor for public affairs, said this year's event should spark "a dialogue on how our two countries can be more inclusive. I hope this gets everyone thinking about what it means to respect all people, what One Jamaica for all Jamaicans really means".

Audience members are asked to bring educational or learning items and formula or diapers to donate to the Women's Resource and Outreach Centre to help the teen mothers under their care.


Digicel plans to grow Redemption Live


With a turnout of almost 10,000 persons and thousands more online, Digicel has dubbed its recent Redemption Live concert a major success in the advancement of reggae music.

Now in its sixth year, the annual concert has become a calendar event which celebrates music legend Bob Marley's birthday. The concert typically boasts a line-up that many would normally pay good money to see and is rated one of the best for authentic reggae and good family entertainment.

"Our intention is to have Redemption Live up there with the likes of Sumfest and Rebel Salute, which are iconic music festivals. Already, we are off to a great start with always ensuring that our line-up delivers high on entertainment value with acts such as Sizzla, Morgan Heritage, and Coco Tea", said Tari Lovell, sponsorship manager at Digicel.

The show's live stream drew viewers from over 70 countries across the world, as far as Australia and places such as Serbia and the Czech Republic.

With the move to Sabina Park, Redemption Live seems to have finally found a home, which is a major factor to a successful concert. The event has been hosted in several spots in downtown Kingston since its inception.

"Sabina Park worked well as a venue for us this year. Patrons had access to parking, ample bathroom facilities, as well as seating and standing areas, which gave them great views of the stage. Not only that, but the location was great in terms of proximity to residential communities as well as hotels", said Lovell. She said the concert saw a turnout of many tourists in keeping with the vision of also using the concert to turn Digicel's home downtown, Kingston into a prime entertainment and tourism spot.

Redemption Live 2016 was sponsored by Red Stripe, SportsMax, Pepsi, Irie FM, Main Events, Headline Entertainment, KSAC, Rainforest Seafood, Pure National Ice, Courtleigh Hotel and the JUTC.


Ne-Yo marries in California


Ne-Yo married his pregnant partner Crystal Renay in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, on Saturday. The 36-year-old singer tied the knot at the luxury Terranea Resort by the sea at a ceremony witnessed by family members and their closest friends.

Ne-Yo said: "We can't wait to start our life together. We're looking forward to just being each others' best friend."

The American R&B singer wore a grey suit with black tie for the special occasion, while his expectant wife who is nine months pregnant wore a traditional white gown that featured embellishments and sheer lace sleeves.

Ne-Yo met his wife while discussing working together on his album Non-Fiction, which was released last year, and admitted it was a case of love at first sight.

He told People: "I kind of knew right away. From that first encounter, I knew there was something different about her, something special."

Crystal explained how her pregnancy created a headache for her dress designer.

She shared: "When I went to my first fitting, I had actually just found out the day before that I was pregnant. So from the beginning of the whole dress process, we knew that it would be a growing belly."


Sam Smith a Gaga fan


Sam Smith is the "biggest Lady Gaga fan". The Writing's On The Wall hitmaker has praised the Pokerface singer and gushed about a possible collaboration.

He told The Hollywood Reporter: "I'm the biggest Gaga fan there is. I queued up for her shows when I was 17!"

Meanwhile, the chance of a duet was nearly scuppered as the 29-year-old singer and actress previously revealed she almost quit music because she felt she was just a "money-making machine".

She said: "I have had to make decisions. 'Why am I unhappy? OK, Stefani (her real name), Gaga, hybrid-person. Why are you unhappy? Why is it that you wanted to quit music years ago?' I feel sad when I'm overworked and that I just become a money-making machine, and that my passion and my creativity take a back seat that makes me unhappy. It feels shallow. I have a lot more to offer than my image."

However, she said: "Slowly but surely, I remembered who I am. Then you go home and you look in the mirror and you're like 'Yes, I can go to bed with you every night.' Cause that person? I know that person. That person has balls. That person has integrity. That person just doesn't say yes."