NEW YORK – Singers Toni Braxton and Neyo are among the top performers added to `the world’s greatest showcase of reggae music,` Reggae Sumfest promoters revealed at a packed New York launch last night.
Executive Director, Johnny Gourzong, made the disclosure to the media and VIP guests gathered at a New York night club Thursday night for the annual Big Apple kick-off.
Reggae Sumfest officials and sponsors at the 2009 NY launch. L-r: Upscale Crowd`s Jermaine Magras, Vice Consul of the Jamaican Consulate, Sharon Burrell-Green, Air Jamaica`s Campbell Rudder, Jamaica Tourism Minister, Ed Bartlett and Summerfest Productions Executives Robert Russell and Johnny Gourzong.
(Photo by Stacey Bethel for Triple 7 Entertainment LLC)
Braxton has won six Grammy Awards and has sold over forty million records worldwide.
Her number-one single, `Un-break My Heart,` is the second biggest selling single by a female singer in Billboard history. Her most recent albums were More Than a Woman under the Arista label, and Libra, her first and only release on Blackground.
Braxton was involved in the 7th season of the reality show Dancing with the Stars.
Since his debut, Ne-Yo has five top ten songs on the Billboard Hot 100 as a lead artist and two number-one albums on the Billboard 200. Ne-Yo has also amassed a catalog of chart-topping songs that he has written for other artists.
Ne-Yo broke into the recording industry as a songwriter, penning the hit `Let Me Love You` for singer Mario. The single’s successful release in the United States prompted an informal meeting between Ne-Yo and Def Jam label head to signing a recording contract. In 2006 he released his debut album, In My Own Words, which contained the US number one hit `So Sick.`
Last night, the Sumfest launch party featured two 2009 performing stars, Flippa Mafia and Spice who joined sponsors, The Jamaica Tourist Board represented by Minister Ed Bartlett, Air Jamaica, hosts Upscale Crowd and Vice Consul of the Jamaica Consulate in New York, Sharon Burrell Green, as well as several top New York media, community leaders and Sumfest executives Godfrey Dwyer, Walter Elmore, Stanley Reid and Hugh Thompson and marketing director, Marcia McDonnough.
For the third consecutive year, Hard Beat Communications coordinated the New York launch and presented the Sumfest team with a citation secured from the Office of the Mayor Of New York and the Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs, Guillermo Linares. And for yet another year, the event was emceed by Irwine Clare.
Gourzong along with Sumfest executive, Robert Russell, thanked the media, the sponsors and the many fans who have kept the annual event going strong for the past seventeen years.
They also revealed that the July 19th – 25th event will feature some of the who`s who of reggae and dance hall performers including Damian `Jr. Gong` Marley, the doctor, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Elephant Man, Lady Saw, Busy Signal, Spice, Kip Rich, D`Angel, Flippa Mafia, Morgan Heritage, Jah Cure, Coco T, Tarrus Riley, Etana, Da`ville, Rhaatid and Queen Ifrica as well as Nas and R&B star Jazmine Sullivan.
Sponsors for the 2009 event include Digicel, Air Jamaica, Jamrock Magazine, Ocean Spray and the Jamaica Tourist Board among others.
Tickets can be bought online through the site at www.reggaesumfest.com.
Hotels can also be accessed through the site. The Festival has devoted a section of its website to accommodation and fans can view a list of hotels in Montego Bay, as well as read short reviews and other information on the properties. Organizers say they will continue to add more properties as the deals are finalized.
Some of the hotel options available for patrons include the 5 star Fiesta Grand Palladium, which is a mere 25 minutes from the Sangster International Airport. This hotel boasts some 1,000 rooms, a fitness centre, a `club` for children, seven restaurants, and five swimming pools, and a spa.
Reggae Sumfest is presented annually by Summfest Productions.