By Kevin Jackson—–
THERE will be stiff competition in the Best Caribbean Performance category of the Soul Train Awards, which takes place November 8 in Las Vegas.
Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Matisyahu, Sean Paul and Cover Drive are the nominees.
Top: Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Bottom: Jimmy Cliff
The Soul Train Awards recognises top performers in urban and contemporary music. Organisers instituted a reggae category a few years ago, but later expanded it to Best Caribbean Performance.
Last year’s winner of the Best Caribbean Performance category was Barbadian pop star Rihanna.
Matisyahu, an American Jewish artist, recently released Spark Seeker which has topped Billboard’s Reggae Album chart.
He is the only artist in the category not from the Caribbean.
Barbados pop group Cover Drive has been doing well in Europe, especially in the United Kingdom where they went number one this year with the single, Twilight.
Their follow-up song, Sparks, reached number four in the UK, while their debut album Bajan Style peaked at number 14 in that country. Their latest single, Explode, reached number 29 in the UK.
Marley has been making the rounds with his latest hit Affairs of the Heart which has enjoyed rotation on major urban stations in the United States, especially on New York’s influential Hot 97 FM.
Sean Paul’s Tomahawk Technique was released in the US this week. The set was available in most European countries, where it registered strongly on several charts.
This is Sean Paul’s second Soul Train nomination. He won in 2009.
Jimmy Cliff is the veteran among the nominees. He recently topped the Billboard Reggae Album chart with Rebirth, his first studio album in eight years.
Rebirth peaked at number 83 in the UK and number 76 on the Billboard 200.
Usher leads this year’s Soul Train Music Awards with five nominations.