Queen Ifrica pulled from New York show following gay rights protest

Reggae singer, Queen Ifrica has been pulled from the 'Invasion of the Queens' show she was scheduled to headline in New York on Saturday due to protests from gay rights groups.

by Jodee Brown

Revered Reggae singer, Queen Ifrica has been axed from a show she was scheduled to perform Saturday night at the Amazura Concert Hall in Queens, NY following protests by a gay rights group objecting her appearance at the show, Invasion of the Queens.

On Friday, a protest including over 100 people was held outside the club calling for organizers of Invasion of the Queens to cancel the show, citing Queen Ifrica’s past lyrics condemning homosexuality, including her 2009 hit, Keep It To Yourself and the lyrics’ contribution to violence against the LGBT community. The rally was led by openly gay NY councilor, Daniel Dromm, who out rightly denounced her presence at the show.

“We don’t need homophobic people like her coming to Queens to spread their message of hate,” Dromm told the New York Daily News.

A Jamaican-born human rights activist, Michael Forbes also spoke out against Ifrica during the protest, saying, “The majority of her music has been very, very homophobic and it rings in the ears of men, women and kids. She uses the stage to burn gays.”

Invasion of the Queens features an all-female lineup that also includes Reggae singer, Etana, Dancehall star, Spice as well as renowned veteran acts, Sister Carol and Sister Nancy.

Amazura’s manager, John Rios confirmed Saturday morning that the show will go on without Ifrica following the protest, insisting that his establishment does not discriminate against gays and are welcome to the club.

Queen Ifrica has had numerous instances of speaking out against homosexuals, including last year’s Grand Gala at theNational Stadium in Kingston on Independence Day (August 6), where she repeatedly denounced homosexual lifestyles during her performance until her microphone was abruptly cut off while she spoke.

Last August, she was pulled from a show in Canada following gay rights protests.

Morgan Heritage denies preference in JLP election after controversial dubplate

Morgan Heritage says a recent dubplate done for JLP leadership contender, Dr. Audley Shaw was not done as an endorsement of the politician..

Morgan Heritage says a recent dubplate done for JLP leadership contender, Dr. Audley Shaw was not done as an endorsement of the politician..

by Jodee Brown

Prominent Reggae group, Morgan Heritage has taken their fair share of heat in the last two days since a dubplate seemingly endorsing Jamaica’s former minister of finance and leadership candidate for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Audley Shaw earlier this week.

On Friday, the acclaimed group responded to such assertions in an article published on Tuesday by the Jamaica Gleaner by insisting the dubplate version of their hit song, Reggae Bring Back Love was not done to endorse Shaw in particular, but Jamaica as a whole. In a statement released to the media Thursday, Morgan Heritage insisted they have no political affiliations and would have done the song for any politician.

The statement reads, Morgan Heritage would like to clarify that the dubplate of our hugely popular hit,Reggae Bring Back Love was done “fi Jamaica” asPeetah (Morgan) clearly states in the intro.”

“Morgan Heritage has an abiding love for Jamaica and would have done a similar dubplate for anyone. The fact that we sing about our ideals of bringing back love and making Jamaica a better place in the song Reggae Bring Back Love, which was recorded 13 years ago, and happens to be the same message of anyone today, only speaks to our belief of a better Jamaica and not any political views.”

They continued, “As Rastafarians, Morgan Heritage does not sit on any side of the political divide. We do not dabble in politics, but like all Jamaicans, we are concerned about some of the things taking place in our beloved country. Our message of unity, love, respect for self and respect for authority remains unchanged and we will continue to work to effect a change for the better as a part of our musical mission.”

The JLP leadership election, which pits Shaw against current leader, Andrew Holness will take place on Sunday at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Bob Marley statue vandalized following World cup qualifier in Jamaica

bob marley statueby Jodee Brown

The famous bronze statue dedicated to Reggae legend,Bob Marley, which was been defaced following a 2014 World Cup qualifier in Kingston between Jamaica and Costa Rica has now been cleaned, according to reports Friday.

Red paint was discovered all over Marley’s statue by security personnel the morning following Tuesday night’s soccer match at the National Stadium following Jamaica’s 1-1 draw vs. ‘Los Ticos.’ The Alvin Marriott-created statue, which lies inside Celebrity Park at the stadium, had paint from hands to feet, as well as the trademark guitar Marley held during many of his live performances.

Stephanie Marley, the managing director of the Bob Marley Museum described the incident as sad upon hearing of the news and conceded that it could be hard to clean the paint off the statue.

However, on Thursday, Marley’s statue had been cleaned by members of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. No one has been arrested for the incident.

The statue is one of many landmarks in Jamaica dedicated to Marley for his worldly contributions to Reggae music, with the aforementioned museum, located in Liguanea, and the Bob Marley Beach in St. Thomas, showcasing memorabilia and other features remembering the iconic singer.

Despite a stoppage time equalizer by Jermaine ‘Tuffy’ Anderson Tuesday night’s result confirmed Costa Rica as a participant in next summer’s World Cup in Brazil while it left the Reggae Boyz with just 4 points from 8 qualifying matches. Jamaica’s qualifying hopes in tatters as they are five points out of an intercontinental spot with two matches to play in the final round.