The 2009 IRAWMA Honors the Best in Caribbean & World Music
Rainy weather and cold temps did not put a damper on the 28th annual , which took place at the state-of-the-art York College Performing Arts Center in Queens, New York on Sunday, May 3, 2009.
Celebrities filed into the venue hours before the show began, to walk the red carpet and give media their undivided attention. Then the curtains went up and the show was first emceed by Copeland Forbes, pinch hitting for Tony Rebel, who later turned up to take over his hosting duties.
The audience was entertained all night with exciting performances from some of the top names in Caribbean music, including Tarrus Riley, Calypso Rose, Beenie Man, Machel Montano, Alison Hinds, Tony Rebel, D’Angel, Gramps Morgan, Duane Stephenson and , all backed by the Dean Fraser Band.
The awards presentation saw some funny moments as fans screamed their choices and awardees teased each other. Beres Hammond, Mavado, Machel Montano, Queen Ifrica and Etana all walked away with two trophies each. Tarrus Riley won “Best Male Vocalist,” Beenie Man took away the “Best Male Deejay” prize, Alison Hinds scored “Best Calypso/Soca Entertainer,” Stephen McGregor nabbed “Producer of the Year,” and Shaggy was honored with the “Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award.”
“I first want to extend a note of thanks to each and everyone for your hard work,” stated , president of Martin’s International & Associates and producer of the IRAWMA. “I value and appreciate all of your hard work and effort in making the 28th IRAWMA a success.” As the curtains closed on the , everyone present at the awards applauded, paying respect to one of the longest running awards ceremony in the world that honors reggae and world beat music.