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Taking a peek at the Grammys

Published:Sunday | January 20, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Competitive field line up for best Reggae Album honours

Jordane Delahaye, Gleaner Writer

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Science will once again honour select musicians and others who are instrumental in the world's music industry at music's most prestigious award ceremony.

The 55th staging of the annual Grammy Awards ceremony will take place on February 10 and reggae enthusiasts are waiting with bated breaths to hear which musician has copped the golden gramophone in the Best Reggae Album category.

Last year's winner, Stephen Marley, holds the record for the most wins in this category with six nods - three as a solo artiste and three as a member of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers.

Though no Marley is nominated this year, a band called The Original Wailers is nominated for their debut EP, Miracle. The band is led by American guitarist and songwriter Al Anderson, who worked extensively with Bob Marley.

The four other nominees are no first-timers and have each won the coveted award at least once.

Jimmy Cliff's latest work, Rebirth - which was included in the Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2012 - is nominated along with Sean Paul's fifth studio album, Tomahawk Technique.

Rebirth reached number one on the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart and number 76 on the Billboard Top 200 while Tomahawk Technique peaked at number two.

Tomahawk Technique also churned out some hit singles. Got 2 Luv U, for instance, which features American singer Alexis Jordan, infiltrated the Billboard Hot 100 chart and How Deep is Your Love, featuring R&B songbird Kelly Rowland, got to number one on the Billboard Reggae Digital Songs chart.

New Legend - Jamaica 50th Edition, a work by reggae veterans Sly and Robbie and the Jam Masters is also nominated while Toots & The Maytals' live album, Reggae Got Soul: Unplugged on Strawberry Hill, rounds out the five nominations.

Unplugged on Strawberry Hill received a stellar review from BBC and was described as Toots' best album in years.

The Riddim Twins are not making it easy for the other contenders either, as New Legend is an eclectic mix of timeless reggae tunes featuring various artistes. The duo have already won the award and were nominated twice in 2011.

The award is said to "honour artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".

Many Jamaicans have expressed their confusion over the years when it comes to the albums nominated as they are not always what Jamaicans would refer to as reggae albums, but reggae here is used in a broad sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music rather than the particular sound that originated from ska and rocksteady.