Grammy nominations for 2021 were released on the 25th Nov and there were no real surprises when it came to the Best Reggae Album category. Unless you’re an Unruly or Gaza fan it was as expected when you look at past trends and the new acts that were chosen.
As expected Buju Banton made the Best Reggae Album list once more for Upside Down 2020. As my pick to be the eventual winner Buju’s return looks like it will be cemented with the coveted win come 21 January 2021. The other nominees include Skip Marley for Higher Place, Toots & The Maytals’ Got To Be Tough, Maxi Priest for It All Comes Back To Love and The Wailers for One World.
Toots & The Maytals feature once more for their 5TH Grammy nomination. Their last win came in 2005 for True Love. So you cannot afford to rule them out as they have been here before and done it. Maxi Priest rolled back the years with his last album. Having never won the award before his inclusion can be seen as a sign of the old timer’s resilience. Skip Marley earned a deserved nomination and also scored another pick for Best R&B Song for his collaboration with America’s H.E.R. for Slow Down which he co-wrote. Last but not least the veteran Wailers feature with One World given their last nomination was in 1990 for ID.
Despite two albums apiece from Vybz Kartel and Popcaan this year, the pair failed to feature yet again. It may be to do with the fact that dancehall does not have its own category at the prestigious award ceremony. To be honest it is high time dancehall got recognition as a stand-alone genre. With the amount of music that is churned out on a daily basis. It boggles the mind that they continue to be snubbed. But hey whose award show is it?
Reggae fans can look forward to the 63rd edition in January and all the best to the nominated candidates.