Stan E Smith 2010 Entertainment News

Cliff Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction


“It will be given to me but it is for all Jamaica, Caribbean and African people all of us. I am prepared for it and I am preparing for it the way I get ready to play my part in any performance” says Jimmy Cliff, singer/songwriter/ actor as he prepares for his induction tonight’s into the Elite Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York. Other inductees are musical giants ABBA, The Stooges, The Hollies and Genesis. Joel Peresman, president and chief executive officer of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, said the inductees “have contributed tremendously to the music industry”. At tonight’s awards ceremony, all inductees will be performing music specially requested by the organization. Cliff told The Gleaner that he would be singing The Harder They Come, Many Rivers To Cross and You Can Get It If You Really Want. Wyclef Jean, Haitian singer/songwriter and social activist, will perform Cliff’s induction The ceremony will air live on Fuse TV.

Grammy-winning musician/actor/singer/songwriter/producer Jimmy Cliff returns to the world stage in 2010 with his fullest slate of activity in decades.  On March 15, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a ceremony in New York City. Jimmy Cliff is the only living musician to receive Jamaica’s Order of Merit, the country’s highest honor for achievement in the arts & sciences.  In 2007, he was also honored with a doctorate from The University of the West Indies. Cliff will embark on his most extensive North American tour in over twenty years beginning June 11 at the Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA.The tour will include stops at Bonnaroo’s main stage, Toronto’s Massey Hall, and the Hollywood Bowl. Jimmy Cliff is also putting the finishing touches on his first album of new material in six years, to be released later in 2010. He has collaborated with countless other legends including The Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, Joe Strummer and Annie Lennox.  Bob Dylan has called Cliff’s “Vietnam” the best protest song he ever heard, and a short list of artists who have covered Cliff’s compositions ranges from Willie Nelson and Cher, to New Order and Fiona Apple


Perry Henzell has been called “the most important filmmaker to emerge from the Caribbean.” His landmark film “The Harder They Come” was responsible for introducing Reggae music to the world. With unique insight, visual sense and original thinking, he forever changed the way we look at things. Through his films, stage plays, and novels, the worldwide impact of his work continues to grow. The American Cinematheque salutes the memory of Perry Henzell with an evening dedicated to his feature films On Friday March 19th at the Egyptian Theater.

Following the success of THE HARDER THEY COME, Perry Henzell directed part two of his Jamaican trilogy, titled NO PLACE LIKE HOME. The trilogy’s the footage had been lost, it was found 30 years later and Henzell’s follow-up to his breakthrough classic can be seen on the big screen! The trilogy’s which follows New York producer Susan as she ventures into the Jamaican countryside in search of a runaway actress. After working on the film throughout the 1970s, Henzell’s follow-up to his breakthrough classic can be seen on the big screen! With music by Bob Marley & the Wailers, Toots & the Maytals and Peter Tosh and introducing Grace Jones and P.J. Soles.

Discussion in between films with Justine Henzell (Perry’s daughter), producer David Garonzik, P.J. Soles (actress), Arthur Gorson (director’s friend and producer), Roger Steffens (reggae historian) and special surprise guests.

Barbados shuts out dancehall-

A Barbados minister of education and human resource development, government, Ronald Jones has moved to shut out toxic Jamaican dancehall music from his country. He said the heavy diet of dancehall artistes performing in Barbados is overkill and doing more harm than good. “Barbados Vybz Kartel and Mavado can stay in Jamaica.”  Barbados police commissioner denied the notorious Jamaican artistes permission to perform in the Caribbean nation. “As a country, we must say enough is enough,” the Barbados Nation quoted the minister as having said.

“This is Barbados. It must not go down the path of some other Caribbean societies. If reaching First-World status means we have to embrace all and sundry, then let us keep the status that we have,” Jones added, according to the Nation. The education minister argues the following without offering any definitive proof: that there was a linkage between dancehall music and some of the increasingly aggressive behaviour exhibited by young in Barbados, the music have made Barbadians loud, uncaring and uncharitable and also blames dancehall for Caribbean that refuse to welcome Barbadians anymore and for planes in the Caribbean that won’t transport Barbadians.

Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s minister of youth, sports and culture, responding to this latest saga in dancehall, said: “I am concerned and I have expressed concern about the content in some dancehall songs. I believe strongly in freedom of expression, but that comes with great responsibility. We can do without some of the lyrics, not only in dancehall recordings, but soca and hip hop too, and that is why we took steps to clean up the airwaves. This is an ongoing process.”

Rihanna Wants Agent Sasco to Be Her Rude Boy

Assassin a.k.a. Agent Sasco has had a great start for 2010, he and his Boardhouse crew have completed a remix of Rihanna’s “Rude Boy.” The remix has Rihanna singing on a reggae beat while Assassin brings the “Rude Boy” element to it.


Duane Stephenson & Stan E Smith @ Club Crossroads Wash DC

Singer, Duane Stephenson, successful maiden three-week European  tour with Tarrus Riley and I-Octane has him bursting with confidence about the future of Reggae music.

To emphasize his point he noted “Three people who had never toured before managed to fill venues night after night, despite freezing temperatures. We played to predominantly white audiences and they sang the songs word for word. In some places there were literally one or two Africans and then in France there were a few Jamaicans, but it was mainly white people who came out to support us. And we made sure to leave a positive and lasting impression on them.”

Duane’s debut cd album August Town did well both locally and overseas was surprised that fans knew his repertoire so well. He says his set comprised songs from the album, as well as two singles from his upcoming album, Black Gold and Sufferers Heights.

“We lived up to our word and delivered professional sets, we were on time and had no problems with promoters,” he explained, adding, “People deal with you according to how you deal with them.” The tour close was on Valentine’s Day with a sold-out concert. at the Brixton Academy in London  featuring Lukey D, Bitty McLean, John Holt and Freddy Jackson. Adapted from

Mr. Vegas and Fay Ann Lyons sing ‘Bring It’
Dancehall maestro, Mr. Vegas, and soca queen, Fay Ann Lyons, have combined two of the Caribbean’s musical genres soca and dancehall on the ragga-soca track “Bring It;   for the ICC World Twenty20 2010 Tournament. ICC WT20 WI 2010 Regional Marketing Manager, Ms. Michelle Gibson says,” This song makes you want to move, to dance. The lyrics, the melody – they are reflective of the essence of our lifestyle and cricketing passion in the West Indies. Partying and playing cricket go hand in hand. Music has always been an essential part of cricket matches in the Caribbean, whether it’s deejays or tuk bands or the unmistakable sound of the conch shell.”


Reggae singer Gramps Morgan Reggae singer Gramps Morgan is very busy man after a whirlwind year in 2009. He launched a solo CD “Two Sides Of My Heart Vol 1.” for which he won the “Album of the Year” at the 2010 EME Awards in Jamaica. He’s currently in studios recording his next big project – a Country and R&B album tentatively titled “2 Sides Of My Heart Vol. 2”; a studio album with his brothers and sister from Morgan Heritage, h He’s also working with J Boog from Hawaii on his new album, is helping his dad Denroy Morgan (I’ll Do Anything For You) on a soon to be released autobiography and on a special project for Disney and looking forward to doing some stuff on the big screen which will be coming soon.

The Country and R&B CD “2 Sides Vol. 2” promises to be an eclectic blend of R&B and Country songs. It will feature collaborations with R&B singer Musiq Soulchild and reggae superstar Ziggy Marley. Among the featured tracks that are already completed are “Delicate Balance,” “Jamaica” and “Better Man.” Tracks will be produced by Willie Lat from LA, Shannon Sanders and Blu Miller from Nashville. The disc will hit stores later this year. The project Gramps’ label Dada Son Entertainment will assume responsibility for he is open to a distribution deal with a major label.”

Saxophonist Cedric Brooks recovering but critical-

Saxophonist 67-year-old Cedric ‘Im’ Brooks, remains in critical condition but is recovering a “severe case of pneumonia which led to other complications” in Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York City hospital after being in a coma for three weeks ago.

According to Brooks’ son Wayne his father was transferred on March 1 from its intensive care unit. “He was transferred to a different floor to better monitor his respiratory needs. Although he is now opening his eyes, his condition is still considered critical.” At the time of his illness, Brooks was scheduled to tour Asia and Australia with legendary ska band, The Skatalites. He has been a member of the band since 1998.

Wayne Brooks said his father was also heading a reunion of his Light of Saba band which recorded critically acclaimed albums during the 1970s.One of his first major assignments came in 1969 with a new act named Burning Spear on the song Door Peep. One year later, Brooks and trumpeter David Madden, another Alpha graduate, had a hit with the instrumental Money Maker.

Top acts to perform in Florida at To Haiti with Love

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL — Vice Mayor Lauderhill, Florida Dale Holness, businesses and community organizations has joined forces with international and local recording artistes to create To Haiti with A Concert for Life, Love Benefit Concert, a concert for life. This event will be held on March 28 at the Central Broward Regional Park. It will feature several musical genres including, kompa, reggae, R&B, hip-hop, soca, gospel and Latin. Scheduled to perform are Nadine Sutherland, Glen Washington, Singing Melody, Bar-bee, Abijah, Junior Tucker, Causion, King Banton, Tabou Combo, Nu Look, Jahnesta, Sweet Mickey, Sister Sledge, Donna Allen, Whodini, Special Ed, Twiggy, Maurice, Hope for Tomorrow, Sherell Rosegreen, DJ Griot and many more to be announced later. Proceeds from this concert will benefit Haitians affected by the devastating January 12 earthquake that destroyed Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, and will be distributed by Food for the Poor, Minority Development & Empowerment, Inc and the Broward County Haiti Relief Task Force.

Gyptian’s career resurrected by Hold Yuh-

Gyptian is back on the musical radar with the Hold Yuh, which is currently heating up crossover radio stations US. Gyptian past chart-topping hit include Serious Times, minor hits like Mama Don’t Cry, I Can Feel Your Pain and Beautiful Lady. VP Records doing full promotion Hold Yuh is already in the top five on influential urban radio station NYC Hot 97 FM’s playlist. According to Cristy Barber, vice president for Marketing and Promotions at VP Records, the radio story for Hold Yuh has just begun. “The digital single is number two on I-tunes.

Award Winning Season for Dancehall’s Best-

Recording artistes Sean Paul took home the “International Artiste of the Year” & Favorite Local International Act award respectively. While Toots Hibbert and Denroy Morgan copped the Role Models of the Year. New dancehall’ sensation Ding Dong copped Song of the Year” &Collaboration of the Year w/singer Chevaughn for hit Holiday) Favorite Music Video and Favorite Male Dancer. Tifa, walked away with the Most Improved Artiste Award, “Favorite Female Artiste & DJ Young, also the Hot and Hype Female of the Year” award at the recently concluded Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) and the Youth View Awards ceremony.                                  .


Family pressure to suppress the tell-all book Dear Dad: Where’s The Family In Our Family, Today?  has been enormous and Ky-Mani Marley’s outright denial of his authored memoir has angered the publisher Farrah Gray Publishing Company. The publishing company was caught off-guard by the intensely negative reaction that the book must be halted, changed or not be published at all. Gray is releasing interview tapes to the media, which will reveal sharply expressive and intimate details of his life and Marley family members. “Dear Dad is currently ranked # 1 Reggae bestseller in the world and ranks in the top 10 celebrity memoirs, according to Amazon. Dr. Farrah Gray  the publisher said “Ky-Mani’s interview with Jamaica’s The Gleaner newspaper and numerous other media outlets, including his public statements on his Facebook and MySpace pages, I feel his denials have thrown me and the publishing company under the bus. I didn’t write his book, I published it. This is his story; these are his words and now I have to prove it.”


In honor of more than 40 years together as a vocal trio, the Mighty Diamonds received the Ragga Muffins Festival Award of Recognition on Feb. 21.2010.

In November, 2009, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke recognized the Mighty Diamonds with a Congressional Proclamation for their 40 years of hits and contributions to the music industry. In 2006 the Diamonds received a prestigious national award from then Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller for their artistic contribution to Jamaican culture.

The Mighty Diamonds was formed in Trench Town Jamaica in 1969.

They dominated the reggae landscape with hits such as “Pass the Kutchie,” “Right Time,” ” Back Whey” Tamarind Farm,” “Have Mercy” “Natural Natty,” “Them Never Love Poor Marcus” “Reggae Street” Africa and “Sweet Lady.”

Their breakthrough album “Right Time,” which generated hits such as “Africa,” “Have Mercy” “Natural Natty,” “Them Never Love Poor Marcus” elevated the group to star status in 1975. “Right Time” brought together the Jamaican musical elite such as Sly and Robby (drum and bass) and Ansell Collins (Keyboards). The reggae party album, “Pass the Kutchie,” has been sampled by everyone from Lauryn Hill to Michael Franti to Wyclef Jean.

The Mighty Diamonds have also released their latest single, “Special Lady,” a remake of Ray, Goodman and Brown’s 1980’s ballad, on their independent label, Street Corner Music. Critics Rave Over the Mikie Bennett-produced My Brother’s Keeper Producer Mikie Bennett has produced a song, an emotional tour de force called My Brother’s Keeper with an ensemble cast that includes Mr. Vegas, Natel, Bunny Rugs, Cherine Anderson, Ghost, Roslyn Williams, Chevelle Franklin, Nicky B and Singing Melody. “Although inspired by the tragedy in Haiti this song is a response to the reaction of a few who reacted negatively to us opening our hearts and our doors to those in need. This is an affirmation that we all are one,” producer Mikie Bennett said.

The song was written in one day and it took two weeks to be recorded at Grafton Studios because of the hectic schedules of all the artistes involved. “We were hoping to get Jimmy Cliff at one time because the song was partially inspired by one of his songs, We Are All One, but the major reason for doing the song was our reaction to the Haitians coming here, that was what really inspired it, that scared reaction that kinda surprised me, so this is a reaffirmation that they are our brothers and sisters. Bennett said Sean Paul benefits from collaboration Deejay Sean Paul has a 19 track mix tape, The Odyssey, and he is charting on the Hot 100 Billboard charts with Do You Remember featuring/ Lil Jon & British R&B singer Jay Sean. The song peaked at 10 on Hot 100 Billboard charts. The single is getting underground plays. It is featured on The Odyssey. Paul’s mix tape features released and unreleased tracks with artistes including Jigzag, Chi Chinching, Sean Kingston, Chris Brown.

Cherine Rocks Madison Square Garden

Cherine Anderson rocked back to back, sold out nights at the famed Madison Square Garden, her signature voice chanting “Come Down, Selector!” was heard in a surprising place; blasting from an intro on CNN’s morning show. As the hit song “Say Hey (I Love You)” rang out to start the day for countless viewers, it capped off an amazing weekend for Cherine in the Big Apple! There are very few things that could stop the determined Dancehall-Soul-stress from giving a memorable and energetic performance. Braving freezing temperatures and a snowstorm that dumped over 20 inches of snow in New York’s Central Park, Cherine came out blazing, bringing Jamaican sunshine and her Dancehall-Soul energy to two sold out performances at the famed Madison Square Garden. On the first night, Cherine took the stage like a storm and really got the crowd up and moving. Dressed in a classic custom made blazer of royal blue with neon orange accents, Cherine represented more than just Jamaica; she also represented New York by wearing the team colors of the New York Knicks. Backstage she was again rewarded with positive feedback for her performance including a compliment of “great performance” from Warner Music Group’s Vice Chairman, Lyor Cohen. On the second night, Anderson delighted the audience as she rushed onto the stage excitedly and started the show asking, “New York, yuh ready? Cause dis is a Dancehall-Soul ting”! Her entrance ignited many to stand up for what an impressive one hour set was filled with Dancehall-Soul-Rebel-Rocking goodness. The back to back Madison Square Garden performances were a first for both Cherine and Michael Franti & Spearhead. Cherine continues to make a statement with her powerful voice as well as her unbelievable onstage presence. As we spoke with her, it was clear that her first appearance inside Madison Square Garden really meant a lot to the up and coming starlet. “I really am in awe of this venue. There have been so many legends that have performed on this stage. I just get goose bumps being in this building.” Performing alongside Michael Franti & Spearhead, the onstage chemistry was a real delight for the fans in the arena. On this New York tour stop Cherine continued her movement of appreciating new fans and charming current fans as she took time to meet them and sign autographs.  According to Cherine, “As the tour continues I am learning a lot of positive things which are only making me a better performer. I am enjoying meeting the many music fans throughout the tour and having a chance to thank them for their support.” Sizzla Kalonji Performs for Zimbabwe’s President Sizzla Kalonji was in Zimbabwe as an official guest to perform at The President’s Birthday Celebration and continued to Ghana to perform two shows on March 5th and 6th for The Independence Day Celebrations, while launching new album Crucial Times produced by Homer Harris which is number 5 on the Billboard Reggae Charts.

Sizzla as the official guest of the Zimbabwe government perform at an all night birthday gala organized for President Robert Mugabe, who will be 86, at the Bulawayo’ Trade Fair Grounds. It was hosted by the Director of Communications in the Information and Publicity Ministry, Retired Major Mutambudzi.
During his performance Sizzla was greeted by wild scenes as he appeared on stage under heavy police security. The Zimbabwe Times newspaper reports that wild scenes greeted his appearance on stage at 2:15 am. Ecstatic fans broke a human barricade that was formed by the police to have a closer look at the reggae star on stage. Suddenly, the police started beating the fans to control them. The commotion caused a brief stoppage of Sizzla’s performance. Kalonji came to the rescue of his Zimbabwe fans after they were beaten by riot police and soldiers.
He later pleaded with the police to stop the beatings. “Please, security, take it easy,” said the musician. “Please stop beating up my fans. All the security please, climb up on the stage.” Agitated fans responded by throwing missiles at the police and were only restrained after the reggae artiste appealed for calm. This reminiscence of Marley’s concert 30 years which was also broadcast live on national television1980, that country, then called Rhodesia, gained its independence from Britain and Bob Marley was invited to entertain. Marley’s Zimbabwe was penned for this occasion.

Sizzla like Marley who was the specially invited guest of the Mugabe government. Marley had to still a crowd in Zimbabwe. Marley presence reportedly caused such a stir that a riot broke out and only he could calm the crowds by staging a second concert.

Sizzla then continued on to Ghana to help celebrate 53-years of Independence by performing at two shows in Accra on March 5th at the Ohene Gyan Sport Stadium and March 6th the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.

He launched his new album Crucial Times produced by Homer Harris on March 6 which happens to be Ghana’s Independence Day. Groomed by Mr. Homer Harris at a young age, he began to learn the skills and techniques necessary to be an excellent artist. Sizzla called himself Little One in the beginning of his career but because of his burning appetite for hot soup, Harris named him Sizzla because of the way he drank his sizzling soup like cold water. It also reflected his lyrical style and delivery.

Sizzla Kalonji has 21 albums that have made it onto the Billboards Top Reggae Albums music charts. He has also placed on numerous top ten and top 100 album of the year charts. He has received awards from IRAWMA, EME, MOBO, Vibe Magazine, Rolling Stone, Irie Fm, People Choice Awards, Digital Music Award Winner, Reggae Academy Awards, and has been nominated for the Grammys several times. Sizzla Kalonji continues to release music through his career showcasing the level of talent that exudes through his creativity.

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