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IRAWMA honours icons

Published:Sunday | April 29, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Eight reggae artistes to receive awards

Rita Marley, widow of the great Robert Nesta 'Bob' Marley, will be among eight icons to be honoured at the 31st annual International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA).

The festival takes place from July 4-8 in Washington Park with July 5 set aside for the red carpet IRAWMA ceremony.

Ephraim Martin, president of IRAWMA, said that after 15 consecutive years on the road, the IRAWMA ceremony has come home.

"It's going to be a grand celebration," he said.

"Since The Taste of Chicago, one of America's biggest July 4 Independence celebrations, begins later in the month the Festival of Life will serve as the main event for residents and visitors from around the world.

"We're going to roll out the red carpet in Washington Park on the 5th of July right in the middle of the festival, just steps from President Barack Obama's home," he said.

Eight icons who are living legends were named for the Reggae 50 Honours and two honourees will receive the Martin's International Award of Honour in Media.

Reggae 50 honourees

• Rita Marley - for her work in the preservation and promotion of reggae's legacy.

• Marcia Griffiths - empress of reggae

• Judy Mowatt - for spiritual service through music.

• Freddie McGregor - for 50 years of dedicated and untiring service to Jamaica and the world through music.

• Ken Boothe - for being most consistent in the preservation of Jamaica's rocksteady music.

• Eric Donaldson - the king of Jamaican song contest over the past 50 years.

• Charles Cameron - for 60 years of untiring contribution to Jamaican music.

• Copeland Forbes - for 50 years of valuable contributions to the music industry.

The Martin's International media awardees are: Berko Akoto Owusu, African spectrum - for outstanding journalistic contribution to African and world music and Onstage TV's Winford Williams - for most valuable media contributions to reggae in the last decade.