November 14, 2022
NOMINATIONS for the 65th annual Grammy Awards will be announced tomorrow in Los Angeles. After this year’s upset by SOJA, the Best Reggae Album category is under the microscope.
Formerly known as Best Reggae Recording, the category was first handed out in 1985. Since then Jamaicans have dominated, with only two non-Jamaican winners — Steel Pulse from England and SOJA from the United States.
Here are my predictions as to which albums will make the cut in the Best Reggae Album category.
Scorcha – Sean Paul (Island Records)
Released in May via Island Records, this is Sean Paul’s eighth studio album. He has been a nominee on several occasions and won the award in 2004 for the multi-platinum Dutty Rock.
Refugees – Jimmy Cliff (Universal Music Group)
Refugees is the first studio effort from the legendary singer in over a decade. It was released August 12 by Universal Music Group. Critics have hailed the project as one of Cliff’s finest in some time. He won the Best Reggae Album award in 1986 and 2013.
Gifted – Koffee (Promised Land/Columbia Records)
The follow-up to her Grammy-winning EP Rapture, Koffee released Gifted through Land Recordings/Columbia Records in March. It made her the first female artiste from Jamaica to place in the top 10 of the United Kingdom’s Official Albums chart.
New Day – Black Uhuru (LAW Records)
The veteran roots-reggae act from Waterhouse in Kingston is celebrating its 50th anniversary and New Day has been described as a decent work. Black Uhuru is no stranger to the Grammys; they won the first award for Anthem.
Wisdom – Stick Figure (Ruffwood Records/Ineffable Records)
Stick Figure has been the top-selling (living) reggae act in the United States for nearly 10 years. The group, led by Scott Woodruff, released Wisdom, their seventh studio album in September. It removed Bob Marley and The Wailers’ titanic Legend from the number one spot on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart for one week. This will be Stick Figure’s first nomination.
Com Fly Wid Mi – The Sinatra Songbook Inna Reggae Style – Shaggy
Produced by frequent collaborator Sting, Com Fly Wid Mi hears Shaggy tackling 10 of the legendary actor/singer Frank Sinatra’s best-known songs. Com Fly Wid Mi was released in May and will give Shaggy another Grammy nod. He has two wins — Boombastic in 1996 and 44/876 with Sting in 2019.
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