Four Caribbean talents vie for Soul Train Awards

Three Jamaicans and Trinidad & Tobago’s Machel Montano will represent the Caribbean when the 27th annual Soul Train Awards are held next month in Las Vegas.

Competing in the Best International Performance category Shaggy and Ziggy Marley have been named with Montano in the same category.

Both Jamaicans and the sole T&T national will go up against America-born Nigerian musician Davido, Norwegian duo Nico and Vinz, and English singer/songwriter Sam Smith for the coveted honor.

Shaggy’s collaboration with r&b talent Ne-Yo earned him the nod for “You Girl.”

Ziggy’s “I Don’t Wanna Live On Mars” guaranteed him a place on the list and Montano’s “Ministry of Road” returns his name for the third time.

Last year, Bunji Garlin took the honor with his “Differentology” release.

And now that the category seems to be holding for four years, Montano may have to charm soca and calypso voters to sure-up a win.

Jamaica’s jazz genius Monty Alexander is also named in the Best Traditional Jazz Performance category. He will face tough competition from six-time Broadway songstress Audra McDonald, Wynton Marsalis, Gregory Porter, Kenny Garret.

There was a time Caribbean artists were overlooked as contenders for rhythm and blues’ highest honors. Created by Chicago, radio personality Don Cornelius in 1987, the awards to Black singers focused on home-grown soul with categories devoted primarily to gospel, jazz, hip-hop, soul, and rhythm and blues.

Not a single category defined the music of the Caribbean region and not until the 21st century – 2009 – did Jamaica’s Sean Paul champion the very first win in a newly-created Best Reggae category.

Paul had earlier won in a special r&b/rap soul or dance category in 2007. However in 2010 a Best Reggae opening made way for Gyptian to claim.

Since that year, a Caribbean presence became elusive and the category is now absent from the 12-category line-up.

Chris Brown leads with seven nominations. Beyonce is up for six nods. And the “Happy” five-time nominee is Pharrell.

Recently, Dionne Warwick announced the name of the host on the Wendy Williams show. She said the former WBLS radio personality will helm the emcee duties slated for the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

Best International Performance

Davido – “Aye”

Machel Montano – “Ministry of Road (M.O.R.)”

Nico & Vinz – “Am I Wrong”

Sam Smith – “Stay With Me”

Shaggy feat. Ne-Yo – “You Girl”

Ziggy Marley – “I Don’t Want to Live on Mars”

Best Traditional Jazz Performance

Audra McDonald – “What a Little Moonlight Can Do”

Gregory Porter – “Hey Laura”

Kenny Garrett – “Pushing the World Away”

Monty Alexander – “Concierto de Aranjuez”

Wynton Marsalis – “Flee as A Bird to the Mountain (Live)”


On a list compiled to be the highest-earning dead celebrities, Bob Marley makes a presence as the fifth among the elite deceased entertainers.

Last year, his estate raked in $20 million – Oct. 2013 to Oct. 2014 — to put him in the middle of the top 10 money-earners among the dead.

Forbes Magazine reports that with sales Bob Marley speakers, messenger bags, coffee and a line of drinks named for the reggae superstar, his assets are steadily rising since his untimely death at age 36 on May 11, 1981.

Michael Jackson tops the list with $140 million in earnings. His posthumous, recently released “Xscape” album debuted at number two on the Billboard chart. A hologram brought him to life at the Billboard Music Awards and probably spiked record sales.

Second behind Jackson is Elvis Presley who has consistently made the list. The king of rock earned an estimated $55 million.

Visitors to his Graceland Estates and Presley’s extensive music library account for the huge profits.

Cartoonist Charles Schulz comes in third with $40 million and Elizabeth Taylor is fourth with $25 million. The actress’ films, movies and holdings annually add to her legacy and estate.

Others on the list include Marilyn Monroe, number six, followed by John Lennon, Albert Einstein, Theodore Geisel ties with Bruce Lee, Steve McQueen and Betty Page for the number nine slot. Actor James Dean holds firm at number 13.

The list is allegedly compiled by talking to estate managers, agents, music publishers and other music insiders. An estimate of the late celebrities’ earnings along with allowances for taxes, management fees and other expenditures are allegedly considered.

Catch You On The Inside!