International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) were established in 1982, by Ephraim M. Martin. The founder’s mission is to acknowledge and honor the accomplishments and contributions of reggae and world music artists, including songwriters, performers, promoters and musicians.
It’s the fans that nominate their favorite artists in 36 categories, including among others, Entertainer Of The Year, Best Male Vocalist, Best Female Vocalist, Best Album and Best Song. The jury awards creators in special categories – Award Of Honor and Lifetime Achievement Award, which also includes Icon Entertainer.
38. International Reggae and World Music Awards
This year, a well-known dancehall artist Buju Banton (Mark Anthony Myrie), had the most reasons to be happy. He received 7 awards, among others for Best Dancehall Stagecraft Entertainer, Most Cultural/Educational Entertainer, Best Caribbean Entertainer and for Concert of the Year. Young Jamaican singer Mikayla Simpson, or Koffee, received 4 awards – for Best Female Vocalist, Best Album, Best Song and Best Music Video. Chronixx was the Best Male Vocalist and Popcaan – Entertainer Of The Year. The Peter Tosh Award for Recording Artist of the Year was sent to Adidja Azim Palmer, best known as Vybz Kartel, who is serving a life sentence. He was also honored in the Best Male DJ/Rapper category.
We were most interested in awards in special categories. This year Dennis Alcapone was introduced to IRAWMA’s Hall of Fame, Derrick Morgan received the title of Icon of Ska/Rocksteady/Reggae, Stanger Cole Icon of Ska, and Ken Boothe – Icon of Rocksteady.
This year’s award ceremony took place on March 21 in Kingston, but, due to the coronavirus pandemic, without public participation. You can watch the movie from the event below. Stranger Cole and Derrick Morgan received their awards in front of the cameras. You should also pay attention to the history of Jamaican dance presented by Dance Xpressionz. New dance moves can become useful when going to parties will be possible again.
List of winners of IRAWMA in selected categories :
- Emperor of Reggae & World Music / Entertainer Of The Year – Popcaan
- Peter Tosh Award for Recording Artist Of The Year – Vybz Kartel
- Best Male Vocalist – Chronixx
- Best Female Vocalist – Koffee
- Best Song – “Toast” Koffee
- Best Album – “Rapture” Koffee ft. Govana
- Best Sound System – Stone Love
Inductees to IRAWMA Hall of Fame/ Lifetime Achievement Award:
- Dennis Alcapone
- Keith Foote
- Lorna Bennett
- Johnny Osbourne
IRAWMA Icon Entertainers:
- Derrick Morgan – Icon of Ska/Rocksteady/Reggae
- Stranger Cole – Icon of Ska
- Sizzla – Icon of Culture
- Ken Boothe – Icon of Rocksteady
- Buju Banton – Icon of Dancehall
- Bongo Herman – Master Drummer/Percussionist Icon
You’ll find the full list of this year’s winners in all categories on the International Reggae and World Music Awards website.
Photo: stills from the IRAWMA 2020 video