Tue | Apr 13, 2021

39th annual IRAWMA to be held under theme ‘Reggae/World Music Rise’ - Public voting begins March 20

Published:Wednesday | February 24, 2021 | 12:10 AM
Entertainers Spice (left) and Koffee celebrate their wins, as Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange looks on.
Entertainers Spice (left) and Koffee celebrate their wins, as Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange looks on.
Beenie Man thrills the audience at the 37th staging of IRAWMA held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
Beenie Man thrills the audience at the 37th staging of IRAWMA held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
Bounty Killer received the IRAWMA Reggae Dancehall Icon Award at the 37th staging of the International Reggae and World Music Awards.
Bounty Killer received the IRAWMA Reggae Dancehall Icon Award at the 37th staging of the International Reggae and World Music Awards.
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The International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA), the event which celebrates the best of reggae and world music, will, on Sunday, May 2, present a stellar virtual gala to honour musicians and industry professionals for their creativity and contributions during 2020.

Last year unleashed unprecedented socio-economic challenges on the industry, with its effects felt across the musical spectrum, resulting in a halt on in-person events and live concerts, as well as travel and tour cancellations. Many who directly and indirectly rely on the industry as a source of income were only narrowly able to eke out a living.

“Despite the hurdles, some music creators birthed incredible works to uplift millions globally [and] IRAWMA will celebrate and award them, under the theme, ‘Reggae/World Music Rise’. The virtual fête will feature performances by international musicians and entertainers. With an audience across continents cheering on nominees and winners of various genres – reggae, dancehall, gospel, Afrobeat, calypso, soca and Latin music, it will be spectacular,” said Rosemary Duncan, public relations manager at IRAWMA.

Nominations by music connoisseurs (artistes, producers, promoters, songwriters, record labels, entertainment media bloggers, managers, agents, engineers) commenced February 1 and ends on March 10. Public voting runs from Monday, March 20, through to midnight, Tuesday, April 20. Everyone is invited to be a part of this important process, by selecting the best, in each category for 2020, including awardees for the inaugural Toots Hibbert Award for Best Reggae Album/CD and the Best Virtual Showcase.

Voters are urged to consider the social relevance of materials, originality, sales, local, national and international virtual performances and social media activity.

Votes should be cast at www.irawma.com.

A reputable accounting firm will tally votes to determine the winner for each category.

President of IRAWMA, Ephraim Martin, further emphasised, “One person, one vote. Vote for the best for the year 2020. Not because he or she is your artiste or on your label, as one knows when an artiste is on a ballot and should not be there.”

Top Virtual entertainer

Martin further added, “This year, because of the pandemic, we have reduced the number of categories for awards to 32, plus the Special Awards of Honour. And we have added two new categories, Virtual Entertainer of the Year and Best Virtual Showcase. We have also renamed the Best Soukous Entertainer to Best Afrobeats Entertainer. The first-ever Toots Hibbert Award for Best Album/CD will be sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.”

The IRAWMA is now celebrating its 39th consecutive year of handing out awards to persons in the music industry.