The highly revered Grammy Awards is considered the highest honor within the music industry. As the 63rd awards ceremony approaches on January 31, 2021, several entertainers from around the world have expressed their disappointment with the organization after learning that they were not nominated. Among those disgruntled are dancehall artistes who are discontented with the choices for Best Reggae Album. They are calling for their own space on the Grammy stage which would mean the addition of a dancehall category.
Throughout the years, dancehall and reggae have been classified under one umbrella and for the most part, reggae artistes have dominated the list of nominees This year’s Best Reggae Album nominees are Skip Marley for “Higher Place,” Maxi Priest for “It All Comes Back to Love,” Toots and the Maytals for “Got to be Tough,” The Wailers for “One World” and one dancehall nominee Buju Banton, for “Upside Down 2020.”
Dancehall superstar Popcaan, saluted those nominated, but lashed out at the United States Recording Academy for its snub of dancehall music, calling it unfair and corrupt for not including his latest album “Fixtape.” His album was produced by OVO Sound/Warner Records and dominated major digital streaming platforms, striking gold on the iTunes top Reggae albums for the first time in the number one spot, and debuted on the sales driven US current Reggae Albums chart at number one.
Dance Hall Queen Spice has also said that she would like to be a catalyst for a dancehall Grammy category because it is not there. Although it is a rowdier descendent of Reggae, the Queen says she does not think it is impossible and would like to be the one to put dancehall in a category. It is evident that dancehall artistes and producers are screaming for acceptance. Maybe the time is ripe to find more innovative ways to find recognition and global acceptance. One way to find approval is to sow seeds where there are massive dancehall markets that will welcome the music with open arms instead of investing relentlessly into the narrow-minded US market to acquire well deserved honor and commendation.