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 George Nooks in performance at Musical Rhapsody held at Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Sunday. (Photos: Garfield Robinson) —

EMBATTLED singer George Nooks gave a well-received, gospel-laced performance at Musical Rhapsody held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Sunday.Nooks, 56, took the audience, comprising children, to church and had them in a “praise and worship-esque” singalong. His set included God Will Take Care You, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, When I Think About Jesus, and God Is Standing By.

However, during his performance of Ride Out Your Storm, he broke down in tears. Unable to carry the song, his in-tune audience rose to their feet singing and encouraged him in applause until he was able to compose himself to belt out the remaining lyrics.

The No.1 record for 2016!

The No.1 record for 2016!

“I felt their love… It was unconditional. This evening wasn’t easy as everybody saw, I broke down a couple of times. However, they treated me with respect… like a human being. I want them to pray for me,” Nooks told Jamaica Observer.

Nooks, two days earlier, was arrested by the Corporate Area police after a bag containing just under two ounces of cocaine was found in his possession. He was offered station bail in the sum of $80,000 and is scheduled to face the Kingston & St Andrew Parish Court on May 17.

The singer completed his set with a medley of hand-clapping choruses comprising Real, Real, Real; Press Along Saints; It’ll Soon Be Done; Stand Up And Tell Me; I Love That Man From Galilee; What A Mighty God We Serve; Some Sweet Day; and Some Day I’ll Go Where Jesus Is.

Bishop Harold Daniel, rector of Church of St John The Evangelist, prayed with the singer after his performance.

Ken Boothe

Ken Boothe

Musical Rhapsody also saw great performances from headliners Ken Boothe and Freddie McGregor, who had the audience engaged with their vast catalog of hit songs. Boothe brought patrons down memory lane with tracks like Freedom Street, Silver Words, and Arte Bella.“Children can listen to my music. These are songs from the ’60s. I like 80 per cent of dancehall music…. but it can be vulgar and derogatory. That’s not good,” said Boothe, 69, before delivering When I Fall In Love.

He completed his sing-along set with Train Is Coming, The Girl I Left Behind, Moving Away, Puppet On A String, Tomorrow, and Everything I Own.

Freddie McGregor

Freddie McGregor

McGregor, who brought the curtains down on the evening with a foot-stomping set, delivered standards including I See It In You, Loving Pauper, I Was Born A Winner, Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely, And So I’ll Wait For You, and Don’t Hurt My Feelings.

The “captain” kept the audience buoyed with To Be Poor Is A Crime, Prophecy, Push Come To Shove, Stop Loving You, and his smash hit Big Ship. They showed their appreciation in applause and cheers.

Boris Gardiner, former I-Three Judy Mowatt, and Rising Star alumna Jodi-Ann Pantry also delivered delightful sets.

Boris Gardiner

Boris Gardiner

Dr Audley “Knapp” Betton, Musical Rhapsody planning committee chair, was pleased with how the evening unfolded.

“I’m overwhelmed because the crowd is here… We have a full house and our sponsors have delivered. But to hear the artistes performing at the level that they are performing, I’m very proud,” he said.

Now in its sixth year, Musical Rhapsody (formerly entitled Rhapsody in Steel) is an annual event is prwoduced by the 140-year-old Church of St John The Evangelist. Part proceeds of the concert will go towards the church’s outreach programmes and building fund.


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