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Sumfest to unleash electrifying reggae energy.

Shabba Ranks to be honored for his contributions to Jamaican music industry.

Grammy award-winning artist Shabba Ranks will not only be returning to the Reggae Sumfest stage after a long absence, but will be honored for his contribution to the Jamaican music industry.

The deejay revolutionised the Jamaican music industry through the rhythms and lyrics of his songs. Some of his major hits include Ting a LingWicked Inna BedMr LovermanPeeny Peeny and Live Blanket. He led the craze of dancehall and reggae-style rap in the 1980s and 1990s throughout Jamaica and the United States, and became the first reggae DJ to win a Grammy award.

Known for his sexually explicit lyrics and groove, Shabba is also a flagship artist for reggaeton with the single Dem Bow and also helped pioneer the way for American rap. He has collaborated with rappers, R&B musicians, and other reggae artists, among them KRS-1, Queen Latifah, Eddie Murphy and Maxi Priest.

Many influences

Now the owner of Emperor Ranks Entertainment, the artist had his early beginnings by age 12 in the music business, having been inspired by deejays he was close to like General Echo, Brigadier Jerry, Yellowman and Josey Wales. He then linked with the Roots Melody Sound System with Admiral Bailey. It was then that he recorded his first 1985 single Heat under Sufferers Feet under the alias of Co-Pilot.

Adding to the list of Grammy winners that have graced the Reggae Sumfest stage, Shabba Ranks’ hard-core and authentic dancehall flavour will add a great vibe to the 2012 line-up. The Sumfest massive is ready to re-embrace this dynamic dancehall trendsetter as he paved the way for popular crossover artistes like Sean Paul and Shaggy. Sumfest is sure to witness an explosive performance from the ‘loverman’ as the festival looks back and moves forward.

The week of activities started with a beach party on Sunday, July 15. The musical celebration resumes on Thursday, July 19 with the hard-hitting Dancehall Night.

Reggae Sumfest is sponsored by Digicel, Red Stripe, Iberostar, Jamaica Tourist Board and Pepsi and takes place in Montego Bay, Jamaica, from July 15-21.

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