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Jamaican foundation gospel artistes among honourees in Connecticut

Published:Thursday | October 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer
Delroy Lingo

Jamaican gospel pioneers Claudelle Clarke, Shirley Willis and Lester Lewis will be among the Caribbean gospel acts who will be honoured with awards at a special function dubbed Honouring the Legends of Caribbean Gospel Music in Connecticut on Saturday, November 10.

The event, which will be held under the patronage of Mayor of Bloomfield Suzette DeBeatham Brown, is the brainchild of Delroy Lingo, who has been involved in every area of gospel, from management and promotion to producing and owning a gospel station - Gospel Vibes.

In an interview with The Gleaner, Delroy Lingo said that he was moved to host the glitzy, black-tie, red-carpet awards ceremony as he is pained by the fact that the artistes in questions have given of themselves, making an impact in the industry without any form of recognition.

"Although many will view it as ministry, it is also entertainment. Many secular artistes receive awards; some are even recognised by the Government at the annual Heroes Day awards ceremony at King's House. I can't remember seeing the ones we are recognising taking that walk," he said.

November 10, Lingo said, will be an acknowledgement from Gospel Vibes Radio of the achievement of Caribbean gospel singers and musicians who dedicated many of their years to do the "perfect will of God".

Lingo said that over the years, it has been a burden on his heart and a great concern that they have not been recognised for their work.

"I believe it's very unfair for these individuals who have work so hard but still go unnoticed within the gospel music fraternity. I firmly believe that honour should be given to whom honour is due. This is the number-one catalyst for me taking on this project, which is a continuation of many years ago when we at National Impact Gospel Awards crowned Claudelle Clarke and the late Otis Wright as the king and queen of gospel," he said.

Sadly, he said, a many of today's gospel acts have little or no knowledge of some of the gospel acts who paved the way for them.

Commenting on the fact that many artistes are not recognised while they are alive, when they can bask in the pleasure of it, Lingo said too many great legends have never been acknowledged for the great work that they have done.

Lingo said he intends to make Honouring the Legends of Caribbean Gospel Music an annual event.