Stan E Smith 2010 Entertainment News


VP Records Presents Introducing Romain Virgo

Jimmy Cliff Inducted in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Swedish pop group Abba, punk pioneers the Stooges, Jamaican reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, The Phil Collins led  British band Genesis and The Hollies were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony held at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. More than 500 rock experts voted. The hall of fame is in Cleveland, Ohio.

Cliff songs and staring role in the movie “The Harder They Come” helped spread reggae far beyond Jamaica. He is only the second reggae musician to join the hall, following Bob Marley. “This was a new music form,” Mr. Cliff said, “with a new culture.” He was inducted by Wyclef Jean, the Haitian rapper, singer and songwriter from the Fugees. “When we saw Jimmy Cliff we saw ourselves,” Mr. Jean said.

Mr. Cliff listed rockers as his inspirations, and said joining the hall was “another stepping stone to higher heights.” His voice was clear and buoyant as he sang “You Can Get It If You Really Want,” “Many Rivers to Cross” and, with Mr. Jean, “The Harder They Come.”

Musicians Jimmy Cliff (left) and Wyclef Jean talk to the media in the press room at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, yesterday in New York. Cliff was one of the inductees of the 25th anniversary class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Jean was a presenter. (Photos: AP)

The inclusion of Abba raised eyebrows of fans questioning whether the light pop group — for all its mammoth and enduring popularity — qualifies as a rock band. “Nominating Abba to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is sort of like saying the best dessert you’ve ever tasted was a hostess cupcake,” Time magazine complained. But Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman said the collection “represents a great cross-section of artistes”.

Phil Collins also welcomed the range of artistes, saying “there seems to be more of a variety this year, from Abba, us, Jimmy Cliff: It seems to be a general cross section of music”.

Jimmy Cliff raises his trophy during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange saluted Jimmy Cliff induction into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and congratulated international reggae artiste and actor.

“Jimmy Cliff is most deserving of this prestigious award and this honor. He has produced excellent music over the years and has been a fine representative of Jamaica, bringing reggae music to the peoples of the world. “This award recognizes the impact reggae has had on the world and the invaluable role Jimmy Cliff has played in achieving that.” Congratulations Jimmy. The whole country is proud of you.”

Bounty Killer returns to court

Alliance leader Bounty Killer is expected to return to court on March 24th to face charges of illegal possession of firearm, assault at common law and unlawful wounding.

The deejay, whose real name is Rodney Basil Price, is accused of using a firearm to assault a cop during an altercation in New Kingston in September 2007.

It is alleged that on September 27, 2007, Bounty Killer and a group of men reportedly assaulted the complainant along St Lucia Avenue. It is further alleged that an off-duty policeman left a club and saw a number of vehicles blocking a section of the roadway. Several men, including Bounty Killer, and the late dancer David ‘Ice’ Smith, were allegedly at the scene. Another man, Callis Bowen, who is believed to be an ex-policeman, is also jointly charged with the deejay.

The policeman tried to get the men to move the vehicles but was reportedly assaulted and fired at. A report was made to the New Kingston Police and a file later sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who ruled that Price should be charged.

Killer, who has been at the forefront of dancehall for almost two decades, has had a checkered record with the law. He was recently freed of assault charges in a matter where he was accused of assaulting a female when the complainant decided she did not want to pursue the matter.

The deejay was charged with possession of ganja by police in the business and clubbing district of New Kingston last month, just days after he pleaded not guilty to drug charges in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court.

Lawyer decries treatment of jailed reggae singer


Published: March 22, 2010

TAMPA – Grammy-nominated reggae singer Buju Banton is being treated “inhumanely” in the Pinellas County Jail as he awaits trial on federal drug charges, his lawyer said in a court filing.

Because he “had the audacity to share his food with another inmate,” Banton was placed Thursday in a maximum security wing where he is unable to prepare the vegetarian diet he requires for religious purposes, according to defense attorney David Oscar Markus.

Pinellas sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tom Nestor said Banton was disciplined because he was “using food as currency.” He said inmates are told such behavior is prohibited.

Nestor also said the jail does not have a maximum security wing, but that Banton is in an area known as “close custody,” which has increased monitoring.

Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was arrested in Miami in December and transferred in January to the Pinellas County Jail, which holds federal prisoners awaiting trial. He is being held without bail on charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting his co-defendants in possessing a firearm during the course of cocaine distribution.

Markus is asking a federal judge to release his client on bail. Failing that, Markus requested that Banton be moved to a “non-maximum security” wing.

He said Banton’s “mental and physical health has been rapidly deteriorating,” and that the transfer has hindered his ability to prepare for his April 19 trial.

Banton, who is from Jamaica, previously had been allowed to prepare his own food using items purchased in the commissary. He “is now in a maximum security wing for caring enough to offer food to another inmate who was hungry, and genuinely believing there was nothing wrong in doing so,” Markus wrote.

Markus said his client “is being punished for who he is.” He said the transfer decision was made by a corporal “who has had it out for Mr. Myrie during his entire stay.”

Markus’ court filing includes a modified quote from the novel “The Trial,” by Franz Kafka:

The “guiding principle [of the Pinellas county jail] is this: guilt is never to be doubted. Other courts cannot follow that principle, for they consist of several opinions and have higher courts to scrutinize them. This is not the case here.”


An act of kindness by Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton while being detained in the Pinellas County Jail in Florida has resulted in him being confined in the maximum security wing of the penal institution and has contributed to him losing around 40 pounds, according to his lawyer David Markus.

That’s the claim included in an eight-page bond application filed to the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, on Sunday by Markus.
The court will hear Markus’ emergency application for bond on Friday. Markus said he hopes to have Buju returned to the non-maximum security unit or have him transferred to immigration custody.
Buju and two alleged co-conspirators have been in custody in the United States since last December when they were charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine and aiding and abetting the carrying of a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime.

The lanky Rastafarian, who is a vegetarian, reportedly shared a meal with a fellow inmate, which is a violation, and was sent to the maximum security wing for at least 30 days. Markus said he was made aware of the situation on March 18.
Since being transferred, Markus said Buju, born Mark Myrie, has been unable to prepare his own meals and “has not been provided with a diet in accordance with his religious views”.
In the bond application, Markus also intimated that his client might be the victim of personal attacks by the warders.
“Mr Myrie has been moved from floor to floor in the jail without explanation and treated differently than the other inmates. The decision to place Mr Myrie in a maximum security wing weeks before his upcoming trial suggests that something else is going on,” said Markus in his application, which included a footnote naming a corporal “who has had it out for Mr Myrie during his entire stay”.
The attorney added that the violation was a minor one not fitting the punishment and that “in sum, Mr Myrie is now in a maximum security wing for caring enough to offer food to another inmate who was hungry and genuinely believing there was nothing wrong in doing so”.

Food and nutrition consultant Dr Heather Little-White said if Buju were not getting his desired meal, he could be losing an average of two pounds per week. This would result in his “mental frame not being as strong and he would become physically weak”.
“He would also have deficiencies in vitamins and minerals and would need to be examined by a doctor. Until proven guilty, his likes and dislikes should be taken into account,” said Little-White.
Markus said Buju’s transfer to maximum security has been affecting his client mentally and physically and, by extension, the legal team’s preparation for the start of his trial on April 19.
“For example, this week when counsel attempted to visit Mr Myrie, counsel was required to wait over two hours until he could see Mr Myrie,” he stated in his application.
In a radio interview yesterday, Markus said the delay was a ploy to derail his team from winning the trial but that he was “optimistic and we are going to fight this”.
Buju’s arrest in Florida in December came at the tail end of a troublesome year, which included a number of cancelled concerts in the USA brought on by gay rights groups and an out-of-court settlement with former common-law wife Lorna Strachan after she filed a suit in the Supreme Court against him. Source:

Jay Sean, Sean Paul collaboration featured on Now thats what I call Music

Club-banger Do You Remember by British pop star Jay Sean and Jamaican dancehall star, Sean Paul, will be featured on the 75th edition of the compilation series, Now That’s What I Call Music.

Do You Remember debuted in the Billboard top ten of its Hot 100 chart. A worldwide iTunes favorite, it stayed on the top ten charts as well. Born at the MTV Video Music Awards, the collaboration also features rap/hip-hop crunk king Lil’ Jon.

Also featured on Now 75th are chart-topping artistes such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Black Eyed Peas, Iyaz, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Owl City and Alicia Keys. Sean Paul said that he was “overjoyed” with the track being featured on Now That’s What I Call Music.

“… It was fun putting a yardie flavor on the song. The track and the video turned out well, the Grammy-winning artiste said. More than 30-million YouTube viewers have seen the video of the song and 11-million have listen on Jay Sean’s MySpace page.

Sean Paul 2009, album Imperial Blaze, nabbed a Grammy nomination, became the first dancehall album to top the Billboard Rap/Hip-Hop charts, and made Sean Paul the first Jamaican and dancehall artiste to do so. The album also debuted at #1 in Japan, was certified gold in France, and dominated charts in Europe and the Middle East. Source YardFlex

Ky-Mani Marley & Publisher Resolve depute; Begins City Book Tour

CaribWorldNews:  Ky-Mani Marley MySpace page states that he has made amends with Dr. Farrah Gray of Farrah Gray Publishing over the final edit of his book and has kicked off his book tour. Marley had initially said Gray distorted his words through unauthorized captions and changes to the cover and original title. Marley book tour began in Atlanta on March 17th at a Barnes and Nobles. Gray and Marley will be going on a 27-city tour, both domestic and international.

Marley’s book, `Dear Dad: Where’s the Family in Our Family, Today?,` tells the story of an outcast son, born out of wedlock, who was abandoned financially by the Marley family after his father’s death. Forced to grow up in a poverty-subsumed corner of Miami, KY-Mani Marley found a way to his own stardom.

Marley had said he intended to share a story of redemption and healing and the bond of blood and a common name. Instead, he said he disagreed with the final product. A teaser on the bottom of the cover reads, “The Story the Marley Family Apparently Doesn’t Want You to Know” while the working title was “Dear Dad: The Marley Son Who Persevered From the Streets to Prominence.”

`My issue was with the subtitle only,` said Marley in a statement. `During the final edit of the book, I spoke with my sister, Cedella Marley, CEO of Tuff Gong Records, and I advised Dr. Farrah Gray that some changes had to be made (but) by the time I had the changes ready, it was the day of the printing, which would have obviously complicated the logistics, causing Farrah Gray Publishing damages and disruption. `

`Farrah Gray Publishing felt as if the subtitle was needed to explain the complexity of the situation. After my approaching Dr. Farrah Gray again and expressing my limited concerns, Farrah Gray Publishing has agreed to modify the subtitle on all new copies of `Dear Dad` and we are celebrating the resolution of this modification,` he added.

VP Records Junior Kelly Red Pond’ album on April 6, 2010 ‘

Rasta man, Junior Kelly is back with his fourth VP Records album ‘Red Pond’.  The album features 15 new Junior Kelly tracks, with the majority of the production coming from the world famous Firehouse Crew. ‘Red Pond’ continues on his mission of uplifting the people and providing positive music content.

Mavado, Vybz Kartel concert still on in Barbados-

The show will go on. A report carried Sunday in the Barbados Nation newspaper stated that, despite suggestions from the police to cancel the event, the unity concert featuring the two Jamaican dancehall artists Mavado, Vybz Kartel will be held as scheduled on March 27.

The show is being staged by Jack Farrell, who has been named as joint promoter with the government-affiliated Barbados Youth Action Programme.

Vybz Kartel


The Nation’s report quoted Farrell as saying that his group had hired “a number of reputable security officers, which include a number of former policemen”. The promoters, in reaction to word from Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin that he did not have the manpower to police the show, say they have also secured the services of a security firm to police the event.

According to the Nation, Farrell has called on the police chief to rethink his position of giving the thumbs down to the March 27 event.

Farrell last week is reported as saying that a cancellation of the show would mean a loss of more than $200,000 for his company.

“The reason why we had to bring these two men together is because the youth had this thing going too far.” Hamilton Lashley approached me and asked me if I could get these two men to come to Barbados and get them to go into the schools and let the youth know that this thing with Gully and Gaza is just a Jamaican thing and they were carrying it too far,” he said.

“That is why we are bringing the show to Barbados to show the people that what they are saying about the men (Vybz Kartel and Mavado) is not so right now and the men realized that they made mistakes,” the Saturday Sun reported. The police chief recently said he did not support the idea of bringing the two entertainers to Barbados for a show and urged the promoters to rethink their position.

Vybz Kartel studio closed

Vybz Kartel has upped the ante in the mushrooming battle over the closure of the Havendale, St. Andrew studio — which was shuttered by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation for zoning violations last week — by alleging that the McGregor’s, owners of the Big Ship recording studio, had somehow played a role in the studio’s closure.

“I heard from accurate sources that it was the “s— p—” Stephen McGregor and “bad mind” Freddie McGregor call dem police friend and dem friend in high places fi fight me studio but me want see if KSAC nah lock dung Freddie McGregor studio which is the same Havendale. Dem a gwaan like a dem alone have links inna high places,” Vybz Kartel said.

The Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) closed the recording studio frequented by dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel in Havendale, St. Andrew last week. The studio was closed after a notice was served on Father Romie, the owner of the property. The police said no permit had been granted for the studio to be constructed in a residential area. The police and the KSAC have made periodic checks to see whether the owner had complied with the notice.

Freddie McGregor is a respected veteran of the music business whose career began at the age of seven. Known for hits such as “Big Ship”, “Push Comes to Shove”, and “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely”, he started the Big Ship label in 1984.

He later established the Big Ship Recording Studio, and he has produced many artists including Luciano and Mikey Spice. His son, Stephen, has won the producer of the year title two consecutive years running. It is highly unlikely that a shrewd businessman like Freddie McGregor would not have applied for a permit.

Etana scores big with August Town

Soulful Reggae singer Etana is riding high on the buzz of the song August Town produced by London-based producer, Curtis Lynch, on Inner City Lady Riddim for Necessary Mayhem Records..

August Town has found its way onto the Dub vendor (England’s Choice FM), Sound quake (Germany) and Riddim (Germany) Charts. In the fall, Etana went to England to promote August Town and other new music

Lisa Hyper to do remix with Foxy Brown and Ron Browz

Lisa Hyper just finished recording collaboration with Major Mackerel and have been approached by Platinum Camp and Daddy Biggs to do a remix of a single with Foxy Brown and Ron Browz

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