International Reggae & World Music Awards a Huge Success

The 27th International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) went off without a hitch over the weekend at the Apollo Theater in historic Harlem, New York. The red carpet arrivals were exciting as entertainers from the reggae and soca worlds turned out in their suits and gowns to mingle with media and hopefully pick up an award.

This year’s IRAWMA‘s stayed true to its name by handing out the most awards of the night to soca star Machel Montano, a true “world” artist, who also won the most coveted award of the night, the “Bob Marley Entertainer of the Year Award.” Reggae stars Beenie Man (who was missing in action), Tarrus Riley, Ky-Mani Marley and Stephen Marley (also MIA) each walked away with two trophies.

The ladies owned the stage that night, however, with a flawless set from “Best Female Vocalist” Etana, an exciting performance from Jadine, “The Soca Deva,” and spicy appearances from dancehall queens Ce’Cile, D’Angel and Macka Diamond. The audience was also treated to a heartfelt performance from Ky-Mani Marley, with his rendition of his father’s romantic “Turn Your Lights Down Low.”

The legendary Dean Frasier and members of Shaggy’s band and Third World’s band backed the entire show. The most entertaining artist of the night was Shaggy, who told the audience he had bought out the bar and drinks were on him for the rest of the night.

The show ended with the customary congregation of all the entertainers joining vocal forces on stage for Bob Marley’s “One Love,” as the curtains came down on another successful awards show. IRAWMA president Ephraim Martin is already looking forward to a bigger and better show come next year, and thanks all the sponsors and entertainers for making this show possible.

2008 IRAWMA Winners:

1. Entertainer of the Year – Machel Montano
2. Recording Artist of the Year – Beenie Man
3. Best Male Vocalist – Tarrus Riley
4. Best Female Vocalist – Etana
5. Best Song – “She Is Royal”- Tarrus Riley
6. Best CD – “Mind Control”- Stephen Marley
7. Best Crossover Song – “Beautiful Girls”- Sean Kingston
8. Best Gospel Song – “Lava Ground”- Prodigal Son
9. Best Female D.J./Rapper – Queen Ifrika
10. Best Male D.J./Rapper – Beenie Man
11. Best New Entertainer – Sean Kingston
12. Best Calypso/Soca Entertainer – Machel Montano
13. Best Reggaeton Entertainer – Don Omar
14. Best Latin Entertainer- Marc Anthony
15. Best Compas Entertainer – Carimi
16. Best African Entertainer – Lucky Dube- Post Humous
17. Best Soukous Entertainer- Papa Wembe
18. Best Hip Hop/R&B Entertainer- Rihanna
19. Award for Outstanding Contribution to World Music
– King Sunny Ade
20. Most Outstanding Stage Personality – Machel Montano
21. Best Music Video – Shaggy “Church Heathen”
22. Best Poet- Mutabaruka
23. Most Educational Entertainer – Buju Banton
24. Most Outstanding Show Band- Morgan Heritage
25. Most Consistent Entertainer – Freddie McGregor
26. Most Promising Entertainer – Ky-Mani Marley
27. Most Improved Entertainer – Junior Reid
28. Best Instrumentalist – Dean Fraser
29. Best Backing Band – Live Wyya
30. Most Popular Selector – Mighty Crown
31. Concert of the Year — Reggae Sumfest
32. Promoter of the Year – Sumfest Production
33. Producer of the Year – Stephen McGregor
34. Songwriter of the Year – Stephen Marley
35. Selassie I Award for Spiritual Service through Music – Tony Rebel
36. Community Service Award – Capleton
37. Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award- (a) Ziggy Marley, (b) Jay-Z
38. IRAWMA Hall of Fame- Inducted May 4, 2008- (a) Billy Ocean, (b) Claudelle Clarke, (c) Errol Brown, (d) Winston Francis
39. Martin’s International Award of Honor- Given May 4, 2008- (a) Freddy McGregor, (b) Dwight Pinkney
40. Producer’s “Respect” Award- Given May 4, 2008- Ky-Mani Marley
41. Awards of Appreciation for Contributions to the Music Industry- (a) Herman Hall- Everybody’s Magazine, (b) Winsome Benjamin- Entertainer, (c) Karl Rodney- Carib News

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