FT. LAUDERDALE – Reggae, Soca and World music’s biggest night did not disappoint fans and industry professionals who turned out at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts on Saturday night (May 4) for the 32nd International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA). From the Red Carpet arrival of celebrities, nominees and Platinum VIP ticket holders to the VIP Reception and Awards Presentation, it was a night of Glitz, Glamor and Grandeur.
Over 1,200 reggae, soca and world music fans, media as well as nominees and honorees settled into their seats with anticipation as the Dean Frasier All Stars started the evening with a fiery instrumental selection, led by Frasier on saxophone. Hosts Etana and Audley Rollen, [Rollen substituting for Freddie McGregor, who later appeared and apologized for his inability to perform due to a bout with the flu], smoothly flowed into the show, introducing presenters and performers to the delight of screaming fans.
Mr. Vegas receiving one of his two IRAWMA trophies won.
Notable winners for the night was Mr. Vegas, who walked away with two IRAWMAs, Best Song, Sweet Jamaica and Best Music Video. Tarrus Riley also snagged two IRAWMAs for Best Male Vocalist and Most Cultural/Educational Entertainer. Romain Virgo received a trophy for Most Promising Entertainer, while veteran Freddie McGregor was named Most Consistent Entertainer. South Florida Entertainer of the year was Haitian star J-Beatz and the violin duo Sons of Mystro were awarded Emerging Stars. South Florida’s Best Gospel Entertainer was awarded to singer, Second Chance.
The complete list of winners and honorees is listed on www.irawma.com
Vocalist Richie Stephens, Honoree Vonnie McGowan and Mutabaruka on the Red Carpet.
The awards ceremony was peppered with performances by over fifteen top stars such as Mr. Vegas, Romain Virgo, Calypso Rose, who had the audience on their feet, Half Pint, Richie Stephens and Macka Diamond. African Soukous Star, Top One Frisson received an enthusiastic applause after his performance, was not to be outdone by his counterpart Wyre from Kenya who also received a rousing reception. Poet Mutabaruka, and Haitian Gospel group Jonathan Laurince and True Worshipper were engaging. South Florida’s rising stars Sons of Mystro, as well as Gospel’s popular performer, Second Chance’s performance were well-received by the audience as well as Etana’s performance as both host and songstress. There was a video presentation and special tribute to Jacob Miller from Inner Circle, whose birthday was actually on May 4th.
Kenyan Reggae and R&B Star Kevin Wyre introduced his new dance to the audience’s delight.
The 2013 Lifetime/Hall of Fame awards were presented to Derrick “Ducky” Simpson of Black Uhuru, Denver “JAMUSA” Silvera, Lloyd “Joe Fraser” Campbell and Inner Circle. Martin’s International-IRAWMA Award of Honor were presented to producer Donovan Germain, event marketing specialist C. “Eddy” Edwards, and radio host Bevan “Duke of Earle” Earle.
Sponsors of this year’s IRAWMA are VP Records, JAMRUSS Productions, Golden Krust, Double Tree by Hilton- Sawgrass Mills Hotel, Riddims Marketing Inc., Princess PM Productions, Imagine That Event and Entertainment, Sweet Goodness,National Weekly, NMC-Blossom Levy, JAMUSA, Hi Class Promotions, Love Doc, Duke of Earle, Reggae and Things, Brawta Caribbean Cuisine, Dawn Marie and the Wiz, Events R’ Us Online, International Sound and Film Production-King Sporty, Insurance Brokers Inc., Danzerz Blvd, Party Rockaz, One Stop Studio and Unique Creations By Liz.