CALIFORNIA, United States, Tuesday February 16, 2016 – International recording artists Morgan Heritage turned their first-ever Grammy nomination into a win yesterday when they picked up the award for Best Reggae Album at the 58th annual Grammy Awards.

The announcement was made ahead of the awards show, which took place last night at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

The Jamaican group took the award for their album “Strictly Roots,” which topped the Billboard Reggae Album Chart when it was released in April last year.

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The album beat out “The Cure” by Jah Cure (VP Records); “Branches of The Same Tree” by Rocky Dawuni (Cumbancha Records); “Acousticalevy” by Barrington Levy (Doctor Dread Presents), and “Zion Awake” by Luciano (VP Records).

Back in Jamaica, Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr Wykeham McNeill extended congratulations to the group, whom he hailed as “global ambassadors.”

“I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Morgan Heritage on an award well deserved. They have certainly made Jamaica proud through the extraordinary music they have produced over the years,” McNeill said.

This very prestigious award is not only a win for the group, but also a win for all Jamaicans,” he added.

Noting that reggae remains one of Jamaica’s strongest brands, the minister said that performers like Morgan Heritage, who have taken it to the world stage, are “global ambassadors” of Brand Jamaica.

McNeill also congratulated the other nominees – all of whom were Jamaican with the exception of lone African, Rocky Dawuni.

The Best Reggae Album Award, originally called the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Recording, was first presented to Jamaican group Black Uhuru in 1985.

Eligible works are vocal or instrumental reggae albums “containing at least 51 percent playing time of newly recorded music,” including roots reggae, dancehall and ska music.

Stephen Marley holds the record for the most wins in this category, with six wins, including three as a member of the band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. Similarly, Ziggy Marley has been presented with the award four times, three of which were as the leader of his eponymous band.

Bunny Wailer has received the award three times, and two-time recipients include Burning Spear, Damian Marley, and Shabba Ranks.

Buju Banton’s nomination for the 2010 award sparked controversy and protest from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation due to homophobic lyrics within his music.

 
SOURCE: Caribbean 360

PHOTO: Grammy.com

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