by Jodee Brown
Despite a somewhat similar run of events leading up to last year’s edition of Reggae Sumfest, organizers of the event are sure that their main international act will perform at the popular stage show.
Internationally acclaimed R&B superstar, R. Kelly, who’s known for classics such as I Wish and I Believe I Can Fly is slated to grace the Reggae Sumfest stage on International Night 2 during the week long event (July 15-21) which will take place at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay. However, doubts about his availability have been raised after reports emerged that R. Kelly suffered complications from corrective throat surgery last year, which was used to remove an abscess in his vocal chords.
That surgery cause R. Kelly to miss last year’s edition ofReggae Sumfest, which he was also booked for and complications from said surgery have reportedly forced the Grammy-winning artiste out of shows he was due to perform recently.
However, Johnny Gourzong, the head of Sumfest organizing party, Summerfest Productions insisted at the event’s launch at the Kingston Waterfront in Downtown Kingston that R. Kelly will perform in spite of recent speculation surrounding his health; promising fans that the World’s Greatest singer has a special show in store for his Jamaican fans to close out the week-long festivities.
Gourzong’s assurance came days after Summerfest Productions chairman, Robert Russell revealed that R. Kelly had only been battling a bout of laryngitis and will be well prepared to entertain all in attendance.
“He is definitely coming. I have been in touch with them (R Kelly‘s publicists) and they say he is coming, and is really looking forward to performing here,” Russell told the Jamaica Observer.
“It was really nothing serious. He has now decided to rest for a few days as he gets ready to come to Jamaica…he wants to make sure that he is in good shape when he comes.”
R. Kelly will highlight International Night 2 alongside Reggae superstars Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, Protoje and Reggae legend, Bunny Wailer.
On International 1, award-winning R&B sensation, Trey Songzwill entertain Sumfest patrons as well as Reggae superstars,Tessanne Chin and Tarrus Riley.
R. Kelly and Trey Songz would join the likes of Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Wyclef Jean, Destiny’s Child, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown and Usher, amongst others as international acts who’ve graced the Reggae Sumfest stage.
Reggae Sumfest will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year and will be sponsored by Digicel, the Jamaica Tourist Board and Pepsi Jamaica.