By Germaine Smith, Staff Reporter
RIDING ON a phenomenal wave of success for 2003, 29-year-old Sean Paul Henriques earned the ultimate crown to his career last night, when he won his first Grammy Award.
His certified double platinum album, Dutty Rock earned him the Grammy Award in the category 'Best Reggae Album', topping fellow reggae artistes Buju Banton - Friends For Life, Wayne Wonder - No Holding Back, Burning Spear - Freeman, and Third World - Ain't Giving Up, for the coveted golden gramophone.
Sean Paul early last month was also awarded the prestigious Gleaner Honour Award in the category entertainment for his feats in that field during the year 2003.
The Grammy Awards ceremony, now in its 46th year, was held at the esteemed Staples Centre in Los Angeles, California, and was attended by the most powerful and influential members of the North American music industry. The award itself is considered the most prestigious award in the entire recording industry.
With his first Grammy Award, Sean Paul has added to his career another achievement on an already long list. In 2003 alone, his second album Dutty Rock became certified double platinum (more than two million sold) in the United States, while the single Get Busy was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association. With his catchy dancehall slang, mannerisms, and appearance, Sean infiltrated American television networks and radio stations, sparking a string of nominations and awards for his efforts. At the MTV Video Music Awards last year, he was nominated in the categories of 'Best New Artiste in a Video' and 'Best Dance Video'. He did not win in any of the categories, but the nominations continued.
At the MTV Europe Awards held in Edinburgh, Scotland, he was nominated in for 'Best New Act', 'Best Song' and 'Best Single' but won only in the 'Best New Act' category. He grabbed 'The Source Award' for 'Best Reggae Album' last year as well, and was nominated for two American Music Awards.
Shortly after he was presented with award, Steve Wilson of Sean Paul's management team told The Gleaner that Sean was ecstatic yet level headed about the victory.
"The first thing he said, was that Jamaican music has been around for for a very long time, and he was happy it is finally getting recognition," stated Wilson. "He thanked his management team, his label, his family, those who voted for him, and Jamaica for everything."
Wilson added that they had no idea they would win in that category, considering the history of the Reggae Grammy. "We were hoping he would win, because we thought they would give a more 'rootsier' group or person. We were just keeping our fingers crossed for it."
GRAMMY WINNERS OVER THE YEARS
2003: Sean Paul Dutty Rock Atlantic/VP
2002: Lee Scratch Perry Jamaican ET (Sanctury/Trojan)
2001: Damian Marley "Half-Way Tree (Mowtown)
2000: Beenie Man, Art and Life (Virgin)
1999: Burning Spear, Calling Rastafari (Heartbeat Records)
1998: Sly And Robbie (Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare), Friends (East West Records America/ EEG)
1997: Ziggy Marley And The Melody Makers (Cedella Marley, Sharon Marley Prendergast, Stephen Marley & Ziggy Marley), Fallen is Babylon (Elektra/EEG)
1996: Bunny Wailer, Hall Of Fame: A Tribute to Bob Marley's 50th Anniversay (Ras Records)
1995: Shaggy, Boombastic (Virgin)
1994: Bunny Wailer, Crucial! Roots Classics (Shanacie)
1993: Inner Circle (Lester Adderly, Calton Coffie, Lancelot Hall, Bernard (Touter) Harvey, Ian Lewis & Roger Lewis), Bad Boys (Big Beat/ Atlantic)
1992: Shabba Ranks, Xtra Naked (Epic)
1991: Shabba Ranks, As Raw as Ever (Epic)
1990: Bunny Wailer, Time Will Tell: A Tribute to Bob Marley (Shanacie).
1989: Ziggy Marley And The Melody Makers (Ziggy Marley, Cedella Marley, Sharon Marley Prendergast & Stephen Marley), One Bright Day (Virgin)
1988: Ziggy Marley And The Melody Makers (Ziggy Marley, Cedella Marley, Sharon Marley Prendergast & Stephen Marley), Conscious Party (Virgin)
1987: Peter Tosh, No Nuclear War (EMI America)
1986: Steel Pulse (David Hinds, Selwyn Bumbo Brown, Alphonso Martin, Steve Grizzley Nisbett, Alvin Ewen & Sidney Mills), Babylon The Bandit (Elektra)
1985: Jimmy Cliff, Cliff Hanger (Columbia CBS)
1984: Black Uhuru (Michael Rose, Duckie Simpson, Puma Jones, Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare), Anthem (Island Records)