BY RICHARD JOHNSON—
IF there was disappointment when it was announced that Sting would not be held this year, its replacement, The Sting Awards, was even more disappointing.
The awards were intended to recognize the contribution of entertainers and affiliates who have made a contribution to the development of the 32-year-old event known as ‘The Greatest One-Night Reggae Festival on Earth’.
Supreme Promotions Limited, organizers of Sting, staged the event to fill the void.
From a poorly produced show to the no-show of recipients, the inaugural awards at the East Lawns of Devon House in St Andrew on Monday left much to be desired.
Of the many categories announced, only a handful of artists and entertainment personalities were present to receive their trophies. Therefore, there was that obligatory ‘accepting on their behalf’ speech.
Things got off to a shaky start at near 10 o’clock, but despite this, the first two awards went smoothly and one hoped this would have continued throughout the night. But this was not to be.
After deejay Starface collected the award for Breakthrough Artist of The Year (female) and Jahmeil for Reggae Breakthrough Artist, the deluge of no-shows began.
Of the long-time sponsors recognized, only one — On Stage TV — was on spot. Former Sting host, Tommy Cowan and Sting board member Levi Walsh received Lifetime Achievement Awards; MC Nuffy received the Champion MC Award, and Sting Clash Champion went to deejay Kiprich.
In his acceptance speech, Kiprich noted the irony of being recognized as a clash act, something he never set out to do.
“I was always writing tunes for the ladies, and then having watched all the legends clash on the stage since I was growing up one day I just decided to do it, because I know I had it in me, and here I am tonight accepting an award,” he stated before breaking out into an impromptu performance.
Absent were Three The Hard Way — Brigadier Jerry, Josey Wales and Charlie Chaplin — who were named Sting Champion Trio.
Deejay Masicka was not present to collect for Breakthough Artist Male Deejay. Selector Skyjuice, who was named Sting Champion Selector, was also missing.
Of the Sting Hall of Fame inductees, only two sent representatives — Ruff Kutt Band and Capleton. Missing were Junior Reid, Michael “Lick Shot” Palmer, Half Pint, Vybz Kartel, Etana, Sagitarius Band, Merciless, and Stitchie.
None of the Icons of Sting were present or sent representatives. Buju Banton, Beenie Man, Papa San, Pinchers, Lady G, Ninjaman, Sister Charmaine, and Bounty Killer were all no-shows.