IRAWMA special honour for Bounty Killer, Beenie Man
Awards show salutes music industry movers and shakers
Dancehall giants Rodney ‘Bounty Killer’ Price and Moses ‘Beenie Man’ Davis will be honoured by the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) at a ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on May 7.
Martin’s International, producer of the IRAWMA awards, revealed the list of special honorees for the Hall of Fame and the Lifetime Achievement Awards at a live-streamed press conference last Thursday. The two dancehall masters will be honoured for “untiring and extraordinary contributions to reggae music internationally” — Beenie Man for 40 years and Bounty Killer for 30.
Taking to social media on Tuesday, Bounty Killer gave his followers a throwback snippet of his performance at what was then one of the biggest and best dancehall events, Border Clash, along with some interesting history from over 30 years ago.
“The infamous Border Clash last instalment ... that was my first big show ever and from that day 1993 until this day 2023, 3.0 decades solid. Give thanks to all my true, loyal supporters and not just the fans or ACs (air conditioners), but the ones who saddle to the east and ride west with me since then. God is still in control; salute y’all,” Bounty wrote alongside the video.
The consensus was that the then 20-year-old Bounty Killer had all the hallmarks of greatness.
Back to the present, he skilfully presented his summer 2022 single, Nuh Ice Cream Cone, in another clip which featured a slew of hot girl dancers parading their skills.
“Dis ya song cemented back di gyal dem spot inna dancehall,” Bounty said by way of explanation, alluding to his comment last year, when he stated that the “di gyal tired fi a do rifle walk foot play and all these hand sign, now waist time nuh waste di gyal dem waistline gyal start whine”.
In 2019, when Bounty Killer received the special IRAWMA Reggae Dancehall Icon Award, he told THE STAR that it meant more to him than a Grammy.
“I won a Grammy as part of a project with Jr Gong, but the truth is that those people don’t really know anything about me. They don’t know that I am the poor people’s governor or that I sing Poor People Fed Up. But when the IRAWMA gives me an award, it is because they know my songs, they know my work, and based on that they are honouring me, so it is important for me to be here,” he said.
“This is our local Grammys, so I have to dress up to accept it. This means a lot to me. As a matter of fact, any local award is greatly appreciated,” he said at the time.
IRAWMA is this year celebrating its 40th anniversary under the theme ‘Reggae Rise’, and Dr Ephraim Martin, president and producer of the awards, noted that “it will be a salute to dancehall music and its monumental contribution to the evolution of Jamaican music over the last 50 years”.
In a press release, it was stated that there are 135 nominees vying in 32 categories to take home the best of the 2021 and 22 awards. A new category for 2022 will see Peter Tosh being awarded posthumously for his work in the global legalisation of medical marijuana.
Honour awards in the areas of humanitarian contributions, philanthropy and the overall development and growth of Jamaican music and culture will be made to Minister of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange; Josef Bogdanovich; Usain Bolt; Copeland Forbes; Marcia Griffiths; Freddie McGregor; Beres Hammond; Stone Love; and Pat Chin of VP Records.
Among the 21 special music industry and media representatives awards are the Dynasty Award to the world’s oldest newspaper, The Gleaner, now publishing over 189 consecutive years; Desmond Allen, founding editor of the Jamaica Observer; Julian Schmidt (Germany), founder of Reggaeville; California-based Kaati Gaffney for RBA Publishing; and Bobby Clark and Lou Grant of Irie Jam Media & Bridge FM radio.
Sharon Burke will be awarded an IRAWMA Lifetime Achievement Award “for extraordinary contributions to the reggae music industry over the decades”.
Grammy winner Mikayla Victoria ‘Koffee’ Simpson, who celebrated her 23rd birthday last month, leads the way with seven nominations. Up for six nominations each are Spice, Masicka and Popcaan, while Sean Paul, Gramps Morgan, and Ding Dong have secured four nods apiece. Buju Banton, Capleton, Damian Marley, Dexta Daps, DJ Khaled, Kabaka Pyramid, Shaggy, Sizzla, Skeng, and Skillibeng have three each, while Burna Bwoy, Etana, Govana, Jada Kingdom, Queen Ifrika, Shaneil Muir, Shenseea, Tarrus Riley and Valiant picked up two nominations each. Other players in the music industry received one nod.
A full list of nominees, special awardees and categories of awards can be seen on irawma.com.