Ziggy Marley, Shaggy, Monty Alexander up for top awards

The nominees for the 2014 staging of the annual Soul Train Awards have been announced and two Jamaicans have made the list.

Dancehall entertainer Shaggy and reggae artiste Ziggy Marley have both been nominated in the same category, for Best International Performance.

Shaggy got the nod for his collaboration with R&B sensation Ne-Yo, titled “You Girl”, while Ziggy Marley earned his spot for “I Don’t Wanna Live on Mars”, one of the singles from his latest Fly Rasta album. Both Jamaicans will go up against America-born Nigerian musician Davido, soca star Machel Montano, Norwegian duo Nico and Vinz, and English singer/songwriter Sam Smith, for the award. Last year, the award went to soca “viking”, Bunji Garlin, for his hit song, “Differentology”.

Jazz pianist Monty Alexander received his first-ever Soul Train nomination in the category of Best Traditional Jazz Performance, for his “Concierto de Aranjuez” album.

Alexander is up against the likes of Audra McDonald’s “What a Little Moonlight Can Do”, Gregory Porter’s “Hey Laura”, Kenny Garrett’s “Pushing the World Away)” and Wynton Marsalis’s “Flee as A Bird to the Mountain — Live”.

The Soul Train Awards will honour artistes in 12 different categories. R&B singer Chris Brown tops the list of nominees with seven nominations, including Best R&B/Soul Male Artist, Song of the Year for Loyal featuring Lil Wayne and Tyga, and Video of the Year for New Flame featuring Usher. Beyoncé follows with six nominations, including Best R&B/Soul Female Artist followed by Pharrell Williams with five nominations, including Best R&B/Soul Male Artist of the Year.

The 2014 Soul Train Awards will be held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on November 7. The awards are geared towards celebrating and honouring R&B’s most soulful entertainers and promises a night filled with high-energy performances from some of the industry’s finest.

It will be hosted by Wendy Williams. Meanwhile, roots reggae singer Dubkor recently completed a successful two-show stint in the United States, entertaining lovers of reggae music in Colorado.

The first show which was held on September 25 at Lost Lakes in Denver, Colorado, was a sold-out affair. Performing songs from his debut album, Rasta Man, Dubkor wove his way into the hearts of the hundreds of music lovers who turned out for the event.

“The show in Lost Lakes was a tremendous success. I performed a very tight set, which consisted of songs such as ‘Verandah’, ‘Little Love Story’, ‘Defend the Ends’, ‘Rasta Man Riding’ and ‘Gideon’.

The response was overwhelming. At the end of my performance, the people were asking for more.

“Even after I did the encore, they still wanted more,” Dubkor said.

The second show, which was held at Steam Boat Springs in Colorado the following night, was also a huge success. According to the artiste, “The vibes in Steam Boat Springs was very good. The people in Colorado really love roots reggae music a lot, and they support it.” Since his appearances in Colorado, Dubkor has received several requests from promoters there for him to return for shows early next year. Dubkor is currently back in studios working on his sophomore album which is slated to be released in 2015. “So far, we have recorded some very good tracks for the new album. We are taking our time and allowing the creative process to flow as we go along,” said Dubkor. – Jamaica Gleaner.

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