Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer
Despite the debut appearance of American singer, Trey Songz and a monster performance from reggae crooner Tarrus Riley, Reggae Sumfest International night 1 belonged to the veterans in the industry.
Under the festival's 2012 theme, 'looking back, moving forward', some of the biggest names in reggae who have ruled the airwaves for the past 50 years were honoured for their contribution to the festival and industry in general.
The stalwarts, basking in the glory being bestowed on them from the organisers and the Jamaica 50 committee, not only took the patrons on a musical journey, but gave a lesson in performance to those who now follow their path.
Derrick Harriott , Mighty Diamonds, Yellowman, Frankie Paul, Pinchers and Leroy Smart were in spanking form taking patrons down memory lane.
Reggae's greatest DJ Daddy U-Roy took the audience to school with songs such as Jah Jah Call You, Natty Rebel, and Chalice in the Palace.
The incomparable John Holt could do no wrong and had the patrons screaming for more, even after an encore.
However, it was Shabba Ranks who came, saw and conquered with patrons sourcing every vantage point to see one of Jamaica's favourite musical sons in his first performance at the international showpiece in many a year.
Considered a pacesetter for international artistes such as Sean Paul and Shaggy, Shabba Ranks was also honoured for his contribution to the Jamaican music industry.
The Grammy award-winning artiste led the craze of dancehall and reggae style rap in the 1980s and 1990s, throughout Jamaica, the Caribbean and the United States.
Before the performances began, there was some interesting news, according to Summerfest Productions chairman, Robert Russell.
According to him, talks are now being held to introduce a musical symposium to Sumfest's week of events starting with the 2013 edition. He also revealed that discussions are now being held to take the popular event to the United States by the end of this year.