Snoop Lion, Sizzla amongst finalists for Reggae Grammy

Snoop Lion (left) and Sizzla (right) are both first time nominees for a Best Reggae Album Grammy award.

Snoop Lion (left) and Sizzla (right) are both first time nominees for a Best Reggae Album Grammy award.

by Jodee Brown

After temporarily ditching hardcore lyrics for songs about unity and anti-violence, Snoop Dogg has seen his Reggae efforts rewarded by The Recording Academy as he was named one of five finalists on Friday for the Best Reggae Album award at next year’sGrammy Awards.

The artist, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, is being nominated for his album, Reincarnated, released in April while using the Snoop Lion moniker. The album, which features collaborations with Mavado, Popcaan, Mr. Vegas, Drake and Miley Cyrus amongst others, was the best-selling Reggae album in the United States this year, with over 21,000 copies sold in its debut week and, to date, has sold well over 50,000 copies there.

Despite criticism from legendary Jamaican artists such as Bunny Wailer and Lady Saw, the album received a number of positive reviews. However, the Snoop Lionact appears to have been cut, at least for the time being, as he recently changed his name again, to Snoopzilla.

Another artist receiving his first Reggae Grammy nod is Sizzla Kalonji for his album, The Messiah. Having recorded over 70 albums in his career, it is the first chance he will have a music’s most prestigious award. The Messiah features 15 tracks, including Chant Dem Down and Psalm 121.

Beres Hammond is also amongst the finalists, securing his first nomination since 2002 with his One Love, One Life double album, featuring the hit single, In My Arms.

The other two contenders for the Best Reggae Album award are four-time winner, Ziggy Marley for Ziggy Marley in Concert and Sly and Robbie and the Jam Masters with Reggae Connection.

The 56th Grammy Awards will take place on January 26 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

Shaggy’s new album flops early on as Reggae projects struggle to sell in U.S.

Shaggy's new album, 'Out of Many, One Music' has struggled for commercial success in the United States, failing to reach 1,000 copies sold in its first week..

Shaggy’s new album, ‘Out of Many, One Music’ has struggled for commercial success in the United States, failing to reach 1,000 copies sold in its first week..

by Jodee Brown

Despite quality music being produced as part of Reggae music’s apparent renaissance, many of Jamaica’s top Reggae acts continue to garner paltry album sales figures in the American market, with Grammy-winning singjay,Shaggy becoming the latest victim of this downward trend.

According to reports FridayOut of Many One Music,the new Sly and Robbie-produced album released by Shaggy has struggled to make headway since its unveiling on Sept. 24, only selling 741 copies in its first week, according to the Nielsen Soundscan, whileplacing third on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.

These figures are a distant cry from the success of his most successful album commercially to date, Hot Shotwhich was certified diamond in the United States, selling over 20 million copies worldwide since its release in 2000.

Out of Many, One Music features hits such as, Fight This Feeling, alongside fellow Reggae legend, Beres Hammond as well as You Girl alongside Grammy-winning R&B singer/songwriter, Ne-Yo.

Shaggy’s album, however, is just a microcosm of the continuing struggle endured by Reggae music with regards to garnering respectable sales in the U.S. market. 9ineKemar ‘Flava’ McGregor Reggae album featuring acclaimed blues singers, Musiq Soulchild and Syleena Johnson topped this week’sBillboard Reggae Albums chart, despite only selling 955 copies in its debut week.

Snoop Lion’s Reincarnated album, which has sold over 70,000 copies to date, has sold just under 900 copies this week while the remainder of albums on the Billboard Reggae Albums top 10 chart failed to sell 1,000 copies this week.