Mel Cooke, Freelance Writer
Cherine Anderson - File
SIX YEARS after the Urban Music Awards began, what is touted as one of the biggest annual award ceremonies, has come to the Caribbean.
And it has come to the country widely spoken of as the Caribbean's entertainment capital, as the first Caribbean Urban Music Awards (CUMA) will be staged at James Bond Beach, Oracabessa, St Mary, on Saturday, April 26.
The Urban Music Awards, which is staged by the Jordan Kensington headed Invincible Media Group, is on an expansion path, as it was staged in New York, United States, for the first time on July 7 last year. It is also put on in the United Kingdom, France and Germany where, as with the Caribbean, the public decides on the nominees as well as the winners in the various categories through online voting.
Ballots are cast at www.urbanmusicawards.net, with the 'Vote Caribbean' option specifically for the newest region on the Urban Music Awards' growth path.
Jamaican artistes dominate
The nominees were announced at a press conference held at the Hilton Kingston hotel, New Kingston, earlier this month. Sizzla, Spragga Benz, Collie Buddz and Beenie Man have the most nominations with three each, all going up for Artiste of the Year. Beenie Man, Collie Buddz and Spragga Benz are nominated in the Best International Artiste category, while Sizzla and Spragga Benz are up for Best Male Artiste, along with Buju Banton, Jah Cure, Tony Matterhorn and Wayne Wonder.
CUMA reaches beyond Jamaica, with Collie Buddz also nominated for Best Newcomer, sharing the latter category with Cherine Anderson, DeMarco, Erup, Munga Honourable and Sean Kingston.
Going beyond our shores
And it expands beyond Jamaican music, as there are categories for Best Reggaeton Act, Best Soca Artiste and Best Calypso Act.
Radio stations from Barbados (Hott 93.5 FM), the Bahamas (More 94FM) and Trinidad (WEFM 91.1 FM) are up for Best Radio Station, along with Jamaica's IRIE FM.
In all winners in 15 categories will be announced at James Bond Beach, where it will not only be a matter of acceptance speeches, as Sizzla, Spragga Benz, Tony Matterhorn, Collie Buddz, Cherine Anderson and Bobby Valentino are slated to perform.