by Howard Campbell
SOUTH FLORIDA – Koffee, the teen pop sensation who has won the hearts of dancehall fans in her native Jamaica to high-profile admirers like Barack Obama, leads nominees for Best Reggae Album at next year’s Grammy Awards.
Nominations for the 62nd Grammys were announced November 20 from Los Angeles on CBS by Alicia Keys who will host the event for a second straight year.
Rapture, Koffee’s five-song EP, is a strong favorite to win the Reggae category. Released in March, it contains Toast, a hit in the United States and United Kingdom.
In September, it was disclosed that Toast was on the personal playlist of former US President Barack Obama. Rihanna has also expressed admiration for Koffee, a 19 year-old from Spanish Town, Jamaica’s first capital.
The other nominees for Best Reggae Album are More Work to be Done by Third World; Mass Manipulation from Steel Pulse; As I Am by Julian Marley and and The Final Battle: Sly and Robbie vs The Roots Radics.
It is the eighth nod for Third World, an eclectic band formed in 1973. Steel Pulse, the only non-Jamaican act to win the category, also earn their eighth call; the British veterans won in 1986 for Babylon The Bandit.
Julian Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley is nominated for a second time.
Produced by Argentinian Hermon Sforzini, “The Final Battle” pits two of Jamaica’s greatest bands in friendly confrontation — Sly and Robbie’s Taxi Gang and the Roots Radics.
They back legendary roots artists like Toots Hibbert, The Congos, Max Romeo and Pablo Moses on songs recorded in Buenos Aires and Kingston.
The Grammy Awards are scheduled for January 26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.