BET J invites Record Labels to attend St. Lucia’s music awards

NEW YORK – St. Lucia’s first annual music awards may discover the next hot Caribbean musician to make international headlines at its inaugural event this weekend.

BET J, a part of BET Digital Networks and a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc., has invited top American record label executives to evaluate the talent to be featured at the annual awards event, set for this Friday, February 29, 2008.

Produced at the popular Gaiety venue in the north of the island by Accela Marketing in conjunction with the Cultural Development Foundation, the Hewanorra Musical Society and the St. Lucia Association of Musicians and Performers, the Awards will be attended by senior executives from J Records, Atlantic Records and Hidden Beach Recordings, along with a number of celebrities including African American comedians Chris Spencer and Anthony Anderson who will present awards.

“The Caribbean is filled with exceptional talent. Some of the smaller islands have fewer avenues for artistes who want to be recognized internationally. We saw this event as a perfect opportunity to utilize our company’s assets and our contacts in the US entertainment industry to make it an invaluable experience for St. Lucian musicians and performers,” said St. Lucian national Cybelle Brown, BET J’s Vice President of Sales and Business Development, whose network recently showcased the success of Grammy winning Barbadian Rihanna after being discovered by record label executive Evan Rogers while on vacation in Barbados.

“BET J has enjoyed a wonderful partnership with St. Lucia for many years and it’s just one of our many ways of giving back to the destinations we work with,” Brown added.

Agnes Francis, Managing Director of Accela Marketing, explained that the objectives of the Awards include recognizing songwriters, artistes and producers who have rendered outstanding works and long-term contributions to the national musical industry. “We are also on a mission to establish quality standards for the music industry, to encourage artistes who have potential for future development, to raise the profile of St. Lucian performers and the St. Lucian music industry – and of course, to encourage the sale of St. Lucian music,” she said.

“We are thrilled to introduce this new tradition to the island,” says Lorine Charles-St. Jules, the St. Lucia Tourist Board’s Director of Marketing for North America. “We take great pride in our music and hope that the St. Lucia Music Awards will increase confidence among our artistes and increase visibility for St. Lucian music in the Caribbean and throughout the world.”

Awards will be presented in 23 categories, including soca, calypso, country, reggae, gospel, jazz, R & B and folk music. Coinciding with the island’s independence anniversary celebrations, the Awards ceremony will consist of a two-hour show and include a ‘Black Carpet’ walkway.

BET J is a presenting sponsor of the 2008 St. Lucia Music Awards.

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