Top 10 – Jamaica’s hottest female media personalities

Amita Webb hails as the sultry host of CVM’s music countdown show, the FiWi Choice Top 10


Over the last few years, Jamaican television has become more appealing to watch; not just because of quality of shows that are starting to come out but the people (particularly women) who are hosting these programs.

As a young journalist myself, it’s been great to see the influx of young people involved in media. Even more pleasing to the eye are the borage of beautiful and talented women who’ve sparkled TV sets across the island and, quite frankly, it makes you want to pay more attention to the show, even if it’s not your cup of tea.

So, in honor of Jamaican women who keep our eyes glued to them on and off camera, here’s a personal list of the top 10 hottest female on-air media personalities in Jamaica.

10: Lauren Dunn – Mainstream Jamaica has only knownLauren Dunn for a short while but she’s already making big strides within local media. Her show, the Lauren O Lauren (LOL) show has garnered her praise for her unique and somewhat outrageous takes on topics within Jamaican pop culture; drawing her comparisons to American gossip queen,Wendy Williams.

However, Dunn’s attractive attributes, both figure and personality-wise present an aura that can easily draw in fans.Dating back to her days as a host on RETV as well as BETJ’sWicked Style, her potential has always been there and now a co-host on CVM TV’s The Vibe, that potential’s set to be showcased even more.

9: Amelia ‘Milk’ Sewell – Despite controversies that drastically affected her media careerAmelia ‘Milk’ Sewellseems to have overcome all the drama and returned to the spotlight with some vengeance. Everyone remembers her as the eye-catching host of CVM’s E-Strip (Hit List) which made her a glowing phenomenon.

After fighting to reclaim her top-flight status since her sex tape scandal in 2008, Milk has slowly but surely re-emerged as a force in media, working with now incarcerated Dancehall superstar Vybz Kartel on his reality show, Teacha’s Pet as well as being a judge on Tastee’s Talent Trail. Her model-like looks have always made her hard to resist and regardless of past issues, there’s no denying she’s good at her craft.

8. Shemille Blake – The name might still be unfamiliar for some but the host of Guinness Sounds of Greatness sure seems to be a looker whose face and shape will stay etched in your mind for a while.

Former runner-up in the Miss Jamaica World 2005 pageant, Blake was selected to host the sound clashing program just last year. She adds a blend to the show which has been a hit with Dancehall and Reggae fans alike and with the show growing in popularity, more fans will be familiarized with this young beauty.

7: Ramona Samuels – With a sizzling Latin name, Ramona Samuels hails as an ebony princess with a royal touch on the microphone. Renowned as a voiceover specialist, Samuels has managed to sound sexy in British, French, Russian and Spanish for advertisements, making you want to hear anything that comes out of her mouth, even if it’s a in foreign language.

Not only has the multilingual beauty done advertisements for promoters locally, in the U.S. and even Australia but her infectious charm and seemingly flirtatious on-air persona has resonated well while hailing as a presenter on RETV. It’s safe to say that Samuels has viewers worldwide locked in at every possible opportunity when she’s on television.

6. Emprezz Mullings – Her name signifies the type of woman she is. Emprezz Mullings has always been appealing to the eye as a long time host of BET J’s Wicked Style and RETV’sDi Show as well as the Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall until 2011. Her essence and pure vibe has always been admirable and she frankly embodies hard work and confidence; qualities that make a woman most attractive along with her looks.

Though her on-air appearances are less prevalent these days, she remains in the spotlight as the host of TVJ’s informative Talk Up Yout’ program as she delves into some of Jamaica’s ‘hot button’ issues with young people being the main focus of the show.

5. Debby Bissoon – Ever since TVJ added E-Prime to the Prime Time News package, the news has become more of intriguing and wide ranging. E-Prime’s presenter, Debby Bissoon offers the most legitimate reasoning for why the segment’s become a success. Well-spoken, professional and with the curves to match, Bissoon has done well on-air and her stock seems likely to continue rising, especially given her undeniable passion for anything Jamaican.

4. Keriann Lee – In past years, the Business Day was just another segment for those who watched TVJ News as, let’s be honest, it’s not the most exciting or intriguing part of the package despite the great works of its long-time host, Owen James. However, since Keriann Lee started appearing more regularly on the business review segment, more men are surely tuning in, mainly just to get a glimpse of her.

Not only is Lee a pleasure to look at during the nightly news broadcast, she’s also a refreshing face to wake up to on Wednesday mornings as she co-hosts Smile Jamaica withNeville Bell. The face, class and bust line all have us hooked on her. Here’s to hoping she continues to make business interesting to watch in the years to come

3. Amita Webb – This former Miss Jamaica Worldcontestant just has it all it seems: The perk, charm and figure fit for any runway. Amita Webb does it all as both a student of the University of the West Indies (UWI) as well as the host of CVM’s FiWi Choice Top 10 countdown show.

Her beauty and appeal has made FiWi Choice arguably the most popular countdown program in Jamaica and could land her even greater media ventures down the line. Recently announcing her first pregnancy via Twitter, Webb will soon have mother added to her titles but given how successful she’s been at all the others, this one promises good returns also.

2. Pepita Little – From the moment Pepita Little graced TVJ’s stage as the host of TVJ’s entertainment program, Intenseas just 17, thousands of eyes were stuck to their respective television screens. Face, shape and a bubbly personality all wrapped up into one, Pepita made Intense the reputable show it is today and won Media Personality of the Year at theYouth View Awards as a result of her hard work on that show.

Though unceremoniously let go by the program last December, it wasn’t long before her next breakthrough came as she’s set to host Tastee Talent Trail later this year. And hey, if she decides to quit speaking with a microphone on camera, Pepita’s got the studio mic as a valid backup plan as evidenced by her debut single, Luv Luv Me which illustrates the dual threat this young beauty possesses.

1. Yanique Barrett – Honestly, there aren’t enough adjectives in the English language to describe this woman’s looks. Sexy, sassy, sultry, addictive and I can go on and on. Ever since her debut on Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehalllast year when she danced on a roof top and sported a memorable beach ensemble while riding a boat, the public couldn’t get enough of Barrett.

From her unique sense of style to her quite outgoing persona, Barrett has become the next big thing in media locally. Also co-hosting FAME FM’s E-Blaze and RETV’s 5 to 7 Live program, Barrett literally has been all over Jamaican television and radio while also voicing on several advertisements. Without question, she’s Jamaica’s hottest media personality both on and off-camera.


Diana King comes out: Prominent Jamaican singer admits to being a lesbian

Prominent Jamaican songstress, Diana King has come out with the admission that she is a lesbian


Internationally acclaimed Jamaican singer, Diana King has taken an unprecedented step within the local music industry as she dropped a bombshell on Thursday, admitting that she is a lesbian.

The highly regarded Reggae singer, known for classics such as Shy Guy, I Say A Little Prayer and L-L-Lies made the confession through a note which she issued on her officialFacebook page. It’s a historic moment within the local music industry as she’s the first artiste of note to come out as a homosexual.

In her note, King wrote, “My name is DIANA EUGENA KING, known to most as DIANA KING my fans call me KingSinga.”


“I answer now, not because it’s anyone’s business BUT because IT FEELS RIGHT WITH my SOUL and I believe by not answering or hiding it all these years somehow makes it appear as if I AM ASHAMED OF IT or THAT I BELIEVE IT IS WRONG. I FEEL NEITHER OF THOSE THINGS … or I would have grown my hair. But all kidding aside, I AM a private person, but sometimes, one has to step outside of their comfort zone to GROW. This here, that I’m doing, is my road. Not everyone will OR is required to travel this way. Some people will carry this fact about themselves to the grave and that’s their prerogative but, a “GOOD” reputation can be a GIGANTIC LOAD in a girls backpack. I KNOW now that it’s time I fully practice the meaning of my face tattoo, which is LOVE YOURSELF LIVE YOURSELF. I JUST WANT TO KEEP IT REAL.”

“HONESTLY SPEAKING, I have always been AFRAID to admit it openly, because of the UNKNOWN of what it may cause negatively, to me my career my family and loved ones. But I realized that it is not my job to make others COMFORTABLE, I AM ONLY RESPONSIBLE FOR MY LIFE, the stuff U think about on your deathbed and at this point in my life I DO NOT CARE about the things that FRIGHTEN me anymore. My biggest regret is that I didn’t COME OUT earlier because being silent has held me back from being ALL that I was born to be. The DEEP FEAR that I’ve had, especially that my own JAMAICAN PEOPLE will judge me and not accept me because of their homophobia has been a heavy burden. I fly my country’s flag HIGH. Always with respect and honor everywhere I go, there is no doubt where I AM from, especially in my music. And I am nothing but PROUD of myself and my accomplishments, no one can take that away from me, IT IS already written in the History Books. But I often wonder, if JAMROCK would have STILL been proud of me if they knew the truth from the days of SHY GUY. So even though I’m a woman of the world, living out of my massive duffle bags in different countries, week after week month after month , JAMAICA has been in my head with great LOVE and absolute FEAR. The harsh reality that people like ME are persecuted, beaten, jailed, raped and murdered everyday JUST for being who they are or JUST EVEN BEING SUSPECTED OF IT. It’s what I saw too many times growing up in SPANISH TOWN and living in KINGSTON and it scared me to death. I COULDN’T WAIT TO GET OUT OF THERE. It is hard to imagine the anguish inside if you are not considered an ABOMINATION I and cannot relate personally. BUT GO AHEAD., IMAGINE IT for a minute.”

“And I can only image what it is like, living there and enduring that reality everyday 24/7 365 days of the year. I WILL NOT carry this baggage ANYMORE. In about 10 years I will B older than both my parents before they died. MY PERSONAL NEED to be 100% authentic and TRUE to myself and to make sure my children learn, especially from me, not to EVER be afraid to be WHO THEY ARE is stronger than any insecurities I may have had over the years. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN WHO I AM from the moment I could think and had even tried to be THE OPPOSITE because of society’s pressures. Trying to LIVE A LIE is horrible, whether GAY or STRAIGHT and for me, was the saddest part of it all because it only caused immense pain to everyone involved. I have been myself to the fullest ALL EXCEPT for when I came to my sexuality. And it is particularly tormenting U R a FREE SPIRIT. Only people who were very close knew because I told them. I’ve never felt comfortable being around or working with people who were UNCOMFORTABLE with that fact … and I thought for a long while that that would be enough. But it wasn’t and it is not. NOT FOR ME … it feels like living INCOMPLETE. I have MUCH RESPECT and deep ADMIRATION for all those who have COME OUT before me, Dead or Alive. I have stood on the sidelines COVETING your bravery. YOU and LOVE have given me the COURAGE.”

“I could have STAYED SAFE AND HIDDEN but for me, IT WOULD MEAN THAT ALL THOSE WHO HAVE DIED for BEING LIKE ME … ALL DIED IN VAIN. JUST LIKE BLACK PEOPLE WHO DIED FOR ME SO THAT I COULD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITIES AND RIGHTS I NOW HAVE … WOULD HAVE ALL DIED IN VAIN (and if U think some of them weren’t gay and lesbian as well U R sadly mistaken) … BUT IF I DID NOT or DO NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FREEDOMS THEY GIVE ME AND CARRY THAT TORCH and KNOWLEDGE with DIGNITY and SHOW MY GRATITUDE and RESPECT and DO MY PART BY LIVING A LIFE THAT WOULD MAKE THEM PROUD, it would B like spitting in they faces. NOT TOO LONG AGO, I would NOT have been able to go to school much less college. Maybe I would have been ALLOWED to sing for them but NOT touch them. The mic I used would B thrown out AND I would probably have to open my legs REAL WIDE before I got paid a SMALL FRACTION of what I deserved if any at all. I would have had to use the NIGGA back door and stay in a THE NIGGA HOTEL. I couldn’t fly 1st class, PLEEEEASE try NO-CLASS, a girl like me would have to take a boat and keep out of sight at the very bottom. I COULDN’T B in the presence of white people if I wasn’t the maid. And if they felt HAPPY they might just celebrate by RAPING or LYNCHING ME. All because their interpretation of the BIBLE said, WE WERE LESS THAN HUMAN. I haven’t forgetten the PAST, the INSANITY but it is HISTORY and not meant to be a disrespect to my caucasian family. MY fans come in every shape, age, color, class and creed and I LOVE and APPRECIATED ALL of them. Weve come a far way and have a ways to go, but we HAVE GORWN. I’m not here to compare to fight or defend myself or to debate wrong or right. BUT KNOW THIS!”

“WE ARE everywhere and everyone whether U acknowledge US or not. WE R people U love and cannot live without. WE bring U joy and entertain U. Some of U have even gotten married and made love to our songs, repeated our quotes and have our Art hanging in your homes. WE deliver your babies WE save your lives in hospitals and in wars. WE defend U in the courts and stand up for your rights. WE design the clothes and shoes U just have to have and cannot live without. U hand us your money at the banks. WE fly U to the beautiful and exciting places U love to travel to. WE give U knowledge and inspiration everyday with our words, music and dance. U eat at our restaurants and dance in our nighclubs. WE hold your hands and pray for U on your deathbeds. WE baptize U and marry U. WE R … your NEIGHBORS your FRIENDS and your FAMILY.”

I am not seeking anyone’s approval. The people I love and care about the most, love me no matter what and my true fans love my music and my positive energy on and off-stage. I have never been disrespectful to anyone, and have repeatedly shared my deepest thoughts and feelings with you and have demonstrated my UNWAVERING LOVE and COMPASSION for humanity, time and time again thanks to social media. I have been blessed with eyes that only see a person’s HEART, not the labels placed on them, whether obvious or not. And if there is a GOD .. that trait, my best quality, came straight from the ALMIGHTY. That is WHO I AM to MY CORE and I cannot B anything else. I cannot tell where this will lead but I KNOW, I WILL B ALRIGHT and just like ths status I posted a few day ago, I have two options.”



King has re-appeared on the Jamaican spotlight in recent years, unveiling her fourth studio album, Warrior Girl in 2010, which was released digitally a year later in the United States under the name Agirlnameking. Additionally, she performed at the last two editions of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival in Trelawny. At this year’s edition, she shared the stage with multiple award-winning Canadian songstress,Celine Dion.


Busy Signal’s ‘Reggae Music Again’ enjoys spike in sales

Busy Signal’s new album, Reggae Music Again has started to pick up sales wise in recent weeks in spite of his ongoing legal battles


Though currently embroiled in a serious legal battle overseas, embattled Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Busy Signal can have something to smile about as support for his most recent album has picked up significantly as of late.

Reggae Music Again, the latest compilation from Busy Signalhas enjoyed a recent spike in sales, coinciding with the artiste’s arrest and subsequent extradition to the United States over the last month. VP Records, the distributor ofReggae Music Again insists that the album has vastly improved with relation to sales figures after an initially slowstart.

Though not releasing the exact figures, VP Recordsspokesperson, Michelle Williams intimated that Busy Signal’s appeal as a top quality artiste has been able to draw in more listeners.

“It’s not been dramatic but I think more people are tuning in to his music because they realize Busy is a good artiste,”Williams told the Jamaica Observer.

Early on, sales numbers for Reggae Music Again were disappointing since its release in April as record sales monitor, the Nielsen SoundScan revealed that the album had sold just over 1,500 copies. This despite the album nabbing a top 10 spot on the U.S. Billboard Reggae chart and featuring notable efforts such as Kingston TownCome Over (Missing You) and Modern Day Slavery.

The album also features contributions from Penthouse Records hitmaker, Donovan Germain as well as Jukeboxx Productions producer and Busy’s manager, Shane Brown.

Busy Signal is currently languishing in a Minnesota jail after being extradited to the U.S. state last week. The highly acclaimed singjay was initially detained in London after law enforcement officials suspected that Busy had been using false documentation while traveling. He was then deported to Jamaica where he then waived his rights to fight his extradition to America to fight accusations of absconding bail while awaiting a drug trial in 2002.

On Monday, Busy Signal pleaded not guilty to the charge of failure to appear in court and remains in custody.

Busy Signal pleads not guilty to charge of absconding bail

Busy Signal remains in the custody of United States law enforcement officials after pleading not guilty to a charge of absconding bail in a Minnesota court yesterday


Embattled Dancehall/Reggae entertainer, Glendale Gordon, more popularly known as Busy Signal, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of absconding bail in his ongoing case in the United States.

The internationally acclaimed singjay answered to the charge of failing to appear in court during a hearing on Monday in Minnesota before the presiding judge ordered him detained, pending trial. Said charge stems from an accusation that Busy Signal fled the United States in 2002 so he could avoid an upcoming drug trial.

According to assistant U.S. attorney, Andrew DunnBusy Signal fled before his trial was set to begin in Minnesota, making him a fugitive for the past decade. The prominent artiste had been slapped with a pair of charges related to cocaine trafficking in February 2002.
Should Busy Signal be convicted on the count of absconding bail, he could face up to five years in prison.

This news comes a month after Busy was detained by members of the Fugitive Apprehension Team at theNorman Manley International Airport in Kingston after being deported from the United Kingdom, where he was initially arrested after being suspected of using false documentation.

Two days after his arrest in Jamaica, the Kingston Townsinger waived his rights to challenge his extradition to the U.S. in order to fight the charge of failing to appear in court.

Though the cocaine charges remain active, the extradition request for Busy Signal only pertained to the allegation of absconding bail. Should American law enforcement officials want to prosecute Busy Signal on the drug-related charges, the U.S. and Jamaican governments would have to work out those terms as a result of treaties in place between both countries.


Terror Fabulous speaks out about career, mental health issues

Terror Fabulous is currently serving a 90 day sentence after pleading guilty to malicious destruction of property


Though he’s currently embroiled in legal troubles, one of Dancehall’s top lyricists during the 1990s seeks to prove that he’s still game, both physically and mentally to pursue great things within music

Renowned as one of Dancehall’s premiere acts during the early 1990s, Cecil Campbell, more popularly known asTerror Fabulous has become somewhat of an afterthought since delving out classics such as Action (featuring Nadine Sutherland)Number 2 and Gangster Anthem. His partnership with legendary Dancehall producer, Dave Kellyyielded several successes during the 1990s while garnering Terror Fabulous comparisons to fellow Dancehall superstar,Buju Banton as similarities in their vocals and lyrical flow made them household names universally.

However, a falling out between Terror Fabulous and Dave Kelly as well as speculation about his mental health, the internationally acclaimed deejay soon faded out of the spotlight as fans began wondering what would happen next to the highly regarded entertainer.

Though he’s now serving a 90 day sentence after pleading guilty to malicious destruction of property, Terror Fabulousrecently gave a rare interview to Sherman Escoffery where he spoke on his early career, relationship with Dave Kelly and how he’s been dealing with speculation regarding mental health.

According to Terror Fabulous, he first met up with Kelly after leaving school in 1990 and began writing alongside other prominent entertainers such as Frankie Sly, Wayne Wonder and the aforementioned Buju Banton. With his raspy, strong voice and lyrical ingenuity, songs like Action quickly won the hearts and ears of fans worldwide.

For Terror Fabulous, his aim during the early days was to bring a more positive vibe to the quickly developing Dancehall genre.

“When I say ‘show me your hand,’ it means show me your gun hand or gun finger, not the real gun. Because we already know about the gun but we are not promoting that, but the gun done mek already, so if we can turn it into fun and make them leave the gun, it’s a good thing. Nothing really new, just more niceness, more understanding, more Rasta vibe, a Fabulous thing,” he told LargeUp.

Though he and Dave Kelly are not currently on speaking terms, Terror Fabulous still holds high regard for theMadhouse Records founder.

“Well I am in my place and he is in his. Him a gwan build his thing still, and him sound good same way; cause I hear some of his rhythm and I would DJ on them. We haven’t linked in a while, but me love how him doing his thing same way. He knows how to make his own lane,” he said.

Many observers have deemed Terror Fabulous crazy as rumors regarding the deejay’s mental health have spread in recent years. Though those around him, including fellow veteran deejays, Super Beagle and Junior Mitchie say that he’s bi-polar, Terror Fabulous vehemently rejects such assessments, admitting that while he has his issues mentally, he find ways to overcome such spells.

“You see in life, it’s not what you do, but how you do your thing. Anywhere we go; anywhere we end up, we say ‘it’s just life.’ Nuff people go to the doctor and since I have been in high school, I have had a doctor, so, I know who to speak to, and when to speak to them. I have never been diagnosed with that [as being bi-polar] so I’m a bit offended that people are saying these things. It’s not like I have AIDS or like I have a disease or I eat of the garbage. It would be better if people said ‘Sometimes he feels a way.’ Like sometimes I have my moments, but I bounce back ‘cause when man say crazy, those words have meaning you know fire! Crazy people do crazy things,” he said.

In the meantime, Terror Fabulous continues to record two decades after becoming etched in Dancehall folklore. Though he and Dave Kelly have yet to get back on good terms, he’s still attempting to return to the Dancehall/Reggae scene with a vengeance.

According to Terror Fabulous, he’s working with “Edgewater studios, RC1studio and we do some production but Dave and me don’t link up back yet, so that mean it not suppose to happen yet. I have a song with a singer named Andrew Melody and I have one call ‘Mama Cry’ with Super Beagle.”

Check out the rest of Terror Fabulous’ interview on LargeUphere:

Part 1:…

Part 2:…


Dancehall acts upset with genre’s exclusion from Jamaica 50 concert

Dancehall superstar, Spice is one of many artistes who’s upset with the lineup upcoming ‘Respect Jamaica 50’ concert which sees an significant absence of Dancehall and female acts


There’s a growing uproar within the Dancehall community following confirmation that no artiste representing the popular Jamaican genre will be represented at an upcoming Jamaica 50 concert in England.

One of the major events to take place in honor of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of events will be the Respect Jamaica 50thconcert series, scheduled to take place concurrently with the 2012 Olympics in London. The series, conceptualized viaAEG Live, runs from July 25-August 6 at the O2 Arena in London and features 50 Jamaica artistes, dub poets and bands.

However, one notable absence from the lineup is that of Dancehall as no artistes representing the prominent genre will feature on the Respect Jamaica 50th bill. This was confirmed during a recent interview on TVJ’s Entertainment Report by AEG Live president, Rob Hailett, who insisted that Dancehall music doesn’t necessarily work in every environment.

“I’m very pleased to see Reggae coming back with the reaffirmation of Morgan Heritage, young bands like Raging Fyah. I think it’s a good thing for the music globally because Dancehall doesn’t really work everywhere. I, personally, love it, but it’s not the kind of music that is consumer-friendly as a Raging Fyah who, to me, follow in the footsteps of Bob Marley,” Hailett said.

However, several Dancehall artistes are angered by the decision not to feature the genre on the Jamaica 50 event, including superstar deejay, Konshens, who believes its the ultimate slap in the face to an important part of the island’s culture.

“I think that’s a slap in the face to all Dancehall artistes. Whoever a organize dat nuh appreciate wah Dancehall do over the years. Dem nuh respect Dancehall artistes fi wah dem do over the 50 years since Jamaica got Independence,”Konshens told the Jamaica Gleaner.

Legendary Dancehall superstar, Bounty Killer echoed Konshens’ sentiment while fellow, prominent Jamaican entertainer, Mr. Vegas believes that while Reggae music will forever hold its place as the island’s most identifiable genre, Dancehall still plays a very important role within the island’s culture.

“God go wid dem. Jamaica land we love same way, big disrespect that still,” Bounty Killer told the Gleaner.

Additionally, Mr. Vegas intimated that, “Reggae music is the umbrella. Sean Paul, Beenie Man and others go out in the world and promote dancehall artistes worldwide, it is ridiculous not to have dancehall artistes on the show. It is ok for the organiser to have a preference, but for him to do that is just ridiculous. Dancehall is a part of Jamaica’s culture,”

Meanwhile, another noteworthy absence from Respect Jamaica 50th lineup is that of women as Reggae superstar,Queen Ifrica pointed out. The Times Like These singer stated that she and fellow Reggae stalwart, Tony Rebel were axed from the lineup after originally being slated to perform at the London-based concert.

“We were supposed to be on that show and they took us off. Copeland Forbes was the one who consulted with us, and then we didn’t hear anything after that. Jamaica is celebrating 50 years so there must be stages to the line-up. Queen Ifrica fi deh pon a show like that. Etana, Tanya Stephens and Lady Saw should also be on that show. Where are the artistes like Everton Blender, Anthony B, Capleton, Sister Nancy, Brigadier Jerry? Where is I-Octane and Assassin?” Queen Ifrica queried.

“In 2012, you should even have Potential Kidd representing this stage of the business. You can’t leave anything out. Dem need fi stop trick the Jamaican people into denying themselves.”

For his part, Tony Rebel believes that Dancehall artistes should have been included to prove that positive connotations can be attached to the genre.

“Dancehall is a product of Jamaican music. Those who exclude dancehall are very wrong. There are positive aspects of dancehall and it should be represented in the show. It looks like the era of the 1980s-2000s are missing from the line up. I would have loved to see Cocoa Tea, Lt Stichie, Admiral Bailey and Tony Rebel on that show,” he said.

“I don’t see why I’m not on that line-up. I think those who made the choice could have done better consultations. Mi deh London right now and me did a look forward fi deh pon the show. We deh ya a represent Jamaica right now, so why we can’t represent Jamaica 50?”

However, internationally acclaimed Dancehall diva, Spicepoints to an even bigger problem: That Jamaicans aren’t fully supporting their own genre, which negatively resonates locally and creates a similar effect overseas.

“It’s a depressing feeling. This country does not support dancehall music, so when other countries don’t support it, what is left for me to say? We don’t celebrate or support dancehall music and it is a part of our culture.”

Jamaica entertainers who are slated to perform during theRespect Jamaica 50th series include Shaggy, Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, John Holt, Jimmy Cliff, Yellow Man and Mutaburaka, amongst several others.


Buju Banton to file for a new trial

Embattled Dancehall superstar, Buju Banton will file for a new trial in his drug case within the next 30 days


Incarcerated Dancehall/Reggae megastar, Buju Banton willcontinue to battle for his freedom in spite of an appeal on his behalf to overturn his drug conviction being dismissed.

The Grammy-winning singjay will file for a new trial, which if successful, would mark his third since his initial arrest in Florida in December 2009. The announcement of this decision comes nearly two days after a United States appeals court in Atlanta, GA upheld Buju Banton’s conviction on drug-related charges in February of last year and subsequent 10 year sentence four months later.

Buju’s lead attorney, David Oscar Markus intimated that his client came to this decision after a meeting they had at a Miami-based federal prison, where the internationally acclaimed singer currently resides.

“We will file (the application for a new trial sometime in the next 30 days,” Markus told the Jamaica Observer.

According to Markus, Buju Banton remains strong despite his latest setback and insisted that they should not give up as he continues to show the resolve and will to fight for his freedom.

“He was obviously sad and depressed but somehow still strong,” Markus said.

“He is an amazing person. All of us need to stay strong for Buju. There is no other option.”

Prior to Buju’s trial in February 2011 in which he was convicted of conspiracy, trafficking and cocaine charges, there was an initial trial held regarding the entertainer’s case in September of the previous year which ended a hung jury.

Should Buju Banton be granted a third trial, he risks a longer sentence given that his conviction on a gun charge, which was initially thrown out by the presiding judge during his last trial year may not be tossed out on a third trial.given that there would be a new judge overseeing proceedings.

During Thursday’s hearing on Buju’s appeal, the Atlanta-based Circuit Court agreed with the jury’s conviction of the artiste’s gun charge.


Public voting to be introduced for Jamaica 50 songs compilation

The Jamaican government and Jamaica 50 Secretariat have announced that there will be a public vote to determine which songs will feature on a compilation to celebrate Jamaica’s golden anniversary as an independent nation


Earlier this year the Jamaica 50 Secretariat invited Mr. Orville ‘Shaggy‘ Burrell to undertake a collaboration with other artistes to produce a song specifically for theIntegrated Marketing Campaign of Jamaica 50.

The marketing campaign song is required specifically tosupport the Nation on a Mission message being conveyed locally and internationally by the re-scoped and restructured Jamaica 50 project that was approved by Cabinet and presented to the public after January this year.

The On a Mission song produced by Shaggy is on pointand in sync with the messages being conveyed by theJamaica 50 marketing program in Jamaica and overseas. For several weeks the song has been driving the ongoing advertising campaign for Jamaica 50. This marketing campaign song was never intended to be, nor is it considered by the Jamaica 50 Secretariat to be The official Jamaica 50 celebrations song.

The Jamaica 50 Secretariat recognized that the Minister with responsibility for Culture in the previous administration had announced another song, commissioned by the former administration and produced by Mr. Michael Bennett, as the official Jamaica 50 celebrations song.

It is the view of the Jamaica 50 Secretariat that in this 50th anniversary year, all talented Jamaican artistes should be able to feel that their creative work has an equal opportunity to be a part of the national celebrations. As such, the re-scoped and restructured Jamaica 50 Project approved by the Government does not include any one song as the official Jamaica 50 celebrations song.

The Minister of Youth and Culture, the Hon. Lisa Hanna has met with the Opposition Spokesperson on Culture, Ms. Olivia Grange presented to her the re-scoped and restructured Jamaica 50 program and frankly, openly and honestly discussed the Jamaica 50 program, including the status of the Michael Bennett-produced song. It was decided that the Michael Bennett-produced song, which was also a collaboration involving several artistes, would be used as partof the Jamaica 50 celebrations wherever appropriate.

This week, Minister Hanna spoke with Mr. Bennett and wrote to him pointing out the decision arrived at and informed him that given the strong emotive and patriotic value of the song, one suitable activity for which the song would be used is in the upcoming campaign to have workplaces promote the wearing of gold or yellow shirts on Fridays as part of theJamaica 50 celebrations.

The Michael Bennett-produced song will also be featuredagain as part of the launch of the One Million Pins Initiative set to coincide with the National Athletics Trials.

Many songs have been submitted by various artistes to theJamaica 50 Secretariat and the Secretariat has been discussing the best way for the public to have a say in which songs they think are suitable to be recognized as part of the Jamaica 50 Celebrations.

It is our view that one positive that the present discussions about a song for Jamaica 50 has accomplished is that theJamaica 50 Secretariat will now fast-track its determination on a public participation process, involving social and other media, that will possibly lead to a Jamaica 50 endorsed musical compilation. The Jamaica 50 Secretariat’s social media team is now working on a possible design of such a campaign and discussions have been initiated with a major telecoms provider on a texting platform to enable such a public participation initiative.

In all of this it should be recalled that the Jamaica Festival Song Competition, organized annually by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), has been the institutional vehicle through which a national commemorative song officially associated with the Independence celebrations, in any year, is selected.

There is the expectation that given the special significance ofJamaica 50, the Festival song selected by the JCDC this year will be accepted and enjoyed by the public in the spirit of the national celebrations.

It is unfortunate and regrettable that the promotional agency for the producer of the On a Mission marketing campaign song and a corporate sponsor of Jamaica 50, as part of the sponsor’s undertaking to promote the song, incorrectly branded a released CD and associated printed materials with the declaration of the On a Mission marketing campaign song as the official Jamaica 50 song, without the required vetting or approval of the Jamaica 50 Secretariat.

The secretariat has been in communication with the corporate sponsor on the matter and a meeting is being arranged with a view to correcting this situation and streamlining the communication, vetting and approval process going forward.

Recognizing its responsibility in the matter, the Jamaica 50 Secretariat will be instituting additional systems to improve and sharpen the vetting process for marketing and promotional activities and materials by our many values corporate partners and other stakeholders, who are all an integral part of the Jamaica 50 Project.

It is unfortunate that so much time has been devoted to a debate about a song for Jamaica 50 rather than about the real significance the Jamaica 50 milestone in the life the nation. Going forward the Jamaica 50 Secretariat and theMinistry of Youth and Culture will be focused on informing the public about the celebratory and legacy elements ofJamaica 50 and encouraging all Jamaicans to get involved.

Vybz Kartel freed of drug charges

Vybz Kartel has been freed of drug charges stemming from an incident that took place last September in New Kingston


Internationally acclaimed Dancehall superstar, Adidja Palmer, more popularly known as Vybz Kartel can now call himself a free man, at least in one case as all drug-related charges against the deejay have been dropped.

The embattled entertainer was freed of ganja charges when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrates Court in Kingston this morning. The charges were dropped after it was deemed that there was no evidence offered by the prosecution in this case.

Presiding Resident Magistrate, Maxine Ellis reportedly stopped short of calling the prosecution’s case against Vybz Kartel malicious given that someone else had pleaded guilty to possessing a small quantity of marijuana that was found in a New Kingston hotel room where the highly regarded deejay and a group of people were arrested at last September.

Kartel was then charged with illegal possession of marijuana for the incident and was investigated for and later slapped with a pair of murder charges.

Ellis commented on the case on Wednesday, saying, “What is the useful purpose of continuing after someone else claimed ownership of the spliff…How many people can own this little spliff?” before declaring that Kartel appear in court on Thursday when the case would be resolved.

Another defendant in the case, Alicia Jackson was ordered to pay a JA$500 fine or face 30 days in jail for the drug offense. She paid the fine and was released shortly thereafter.

Vybz Kartel remains incarcerated as he has yet to receive bail in the Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams murder case in which he faces a murder charge as well as two obstruction of justice-related charges. The former Portmore Empire leader was granted JA$3 million bail in his other murder case in which he’s accused of murder, conspiracy to murder and illegal possession of a firearm in the killing St. Catherine based promoter, Barrington ‘Bossie’ Burton last July.


Aidonia and his fiancé set to welcome first child

Dancehall superstar, Aidonia and long time girlfriend, Kimberly Megan are expecting their first child together


Prominent Dancehall superstar, Aidonia will soon experience the joy of fatherhood as his fiancé, Kimberly Meganprepares to welcome her first child.

According to reports, a source close to the entertainer confirmed that speculation surrounding Megan’s possible pregnancy was valid, revealing that Aidonia’s fiancé is approximately nine weeks pregnant.

Said source told the Jamaica STAR,  “Is a happy feeling because Deablo (another JOP member) also just got his first child recently. Him (Aidonia) change a whole heap because him caan a think about himself now, him haffi think about a family. Although JOP a him family, this is now a real family.”

This news comes nearly four months after Aidonia had proposed to Megan, though details of the engagement were not unveiled.

Meanwhile, Aidonia continues to dish out well received hit singles as he recently unveiled singles such as Di Ride on the Markus Myrie produced Mattrass Riddim as well asKush Inna Mi Brain and Kush Heights. Additionally, an official music video for his hit single, Tan Tuddy will soon be released.

Aidonia’s also set to perform at this Friday’s Best of Summerconcert, headlined by American rap megastar, Rick Rossand will also feature on this year’s edition of Reggae Sumfest, slated from July 15-21 in Montego Bay.