November 8, 2021
Gyptian was among several recipients of this year’s Consulate General of Jamaica’s Heritage Awards in New York on Friday.
The Consulate General of Jamaica’s Heritage Award was established to recognise outstanding and dedicated service by individuals and businesses to the Jamaican community.
The reggae singer said he was elated by the recognition and sang a few lines of Hold You in his acceptance speech.
“I am grateful and humbled to be recognised… I’ve done things for the less fortunate and needy in Jamaica,” he told the Jamaica Observer. “I never expected this award because, for me, when I do things it is never for attention.”
The awards ceremony was held at the Consulate General of Jamaica’s New York offices in Manhattan.
Gyptian said the award serves to fuel his passion for altruism.
“This award I consider as my love for my people and what my mission is for my people in these times. It’s also for my team as well – without them and God, this wouldn’t be possible,” he said.
Consular General Alsion Wilson said the winners are especially inspiring this year.
“Our awardees have distinguished themselves as beacons of hope during some of our most difficult times, including the ongoing pandemic,” she said.
The awards were started in 2013 by former Consul General Herman Lamont.
This year’s other recipients were Gopal Burgher (partner, Burgher LLP), Shawn French (owner of Golden Krust), Dennis Hawthorne (CEO of Dennis Shipping); Harry Bhoorasingh (senior country manager, Jamaica National Building Society); Dominic McKenzie (reporter, Spectrum News); Devon John (chief of renal transplantation, Westchester Medical Centre); Phillip Feurtado (CEO of Feurtado Shipping); Hezedean Smith (fire chief, Charlottesville Fire Department); Oswald Reid (brand manager, Iberia Foods Corporation); and Christopher Roberts (co-owner, The Door).
Gyptian, whose given name is Windel Edwards, came to local prominence in the early 2000s with the hit song Serious Times and has since then grown steadily to become one of the most consistent reggae singers in recent times. His other songs include Mama Don’t Cry, Beautiful Lady, and Hold You.
Hold You, released in the summer of 2010, peaked at 77 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 16 on the UK Singles Chart, and 69 on the Canadian Hot 100. It was later remixed by American rap queen Nicki Minaj. The song is certified gold in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales exceeding 500,000 copies and certified platinum in the United Kingdom for more than 600,000 in sales.
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