Glitzy EME awards in Pegasus' garden

Published: Sunday | February 8, 2009

Winston Sil/Freelance Photographer
Veteran reggae artiste Freddie McGregor (left) is presented with a Role Model of the Year award by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett at the fifth annual Excellence in Music and Entertainment awards, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, last Thursday.

Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer

The stars and stargazers walked the red carpet and the ladies especially were in their high-heeled finery in the garden of The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Thursday night, as a full house turned out for the Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) awards.

It was a glitzy though lengthy affair, with performances by Tarrus Riley, Freddie McGregor, Etana, Romain Virgo, a liquor-splashing Flippa Mafia, Jody-Ann Pantry and Noddy Virtue interspersed among the awards. And the speeches were, by and large, kept brief, as the awardees gave thanks to God and other relevant figures.

There were surprised murmurs, though, when, in accepting his award for Gospel Artiste of the Year, Prodigal said, "Let me say to my many ladies who voted for me ".

"Oonu too mix up," one of the hosts commented at the reaction to laughter.

Goddy Goddy took the award for Best Gospel Song with Chaka Chi Chi.

Ear-to-ear grin

Deejay Vybz Kartel, a glowing bowtie matching his glasses and wearing an ear-to-ear grin under his oversized shades, was on hand to collect his awards, including Male DJ of the Year and Song of the Year for Rampin' Shop with Spice. "It's a good thing. You know Vybz Kartel work hard throughout the year," he said, promising more lyrics.

In an earlier trip to the stage for Lyricist/Songwriter of the Year, Kartel said "Gaza or not, Gaza we say", to cheers from the crowd.

And Spice, who also collected the Female DJ of the Year award, said "I've come a long way. The end of this year will be 10 years I've been in this business. A lot of people don't know that." And she credited Kartel with taking her career to another step up the ladder.

Mavado was not on hand to collect his EMEs for Dancehall Song of the Year (So Special) and Male Singjay of the Year. LUST's take on Just As I Am was Reggae Song of the Year. And a grim-faced sister of Ice, who was buried five days before the EMEs, collected his posthumous award for the 'Gully Creeper' dance.

She did not speak.

When he collected the EME for Producer of the Year (Dancehall) Stephen McGregor commented to 'Flava' McGregor, who took the reggae counterpart, that "the last name a shot!"

'A me hype myself'

D'Angel hot-stepped out on stage for her Female Singjay of the Year honours and Flippa Mafia was not afraid to blow his own trumpet as he collected Trendsetter of the Year honours. "A me hype myself, no bwoy no hype me," Flippa said, to cheers.

Etana pointed to the early days with Wrong Address when she took the award for Female Vocalist of the Year. And Tarrus Riley, in collecting the male equivalent, said "A we name singy singy. We love sing an' we a live wi dream."

Beenie Man was all smiles, daughter in tow, as he collected for Performance of the Year and Best Dressed Male.

There were special awards to producers Sonia Pottinger and Lloyd 'King Jammys' James, as well as Freddie McGregor, Richie B hosting a segment in which overseas friends of reggae were honoured. There were recorded responses from Estelle, John Legend and Jasmine Sullivan.

  • EME winners

    1) DJ of the Year (Male) - Vybz Kartel

    2) DJ of the Year (Female) - Spice

    3) Vocalist of the Year (Male) - Tarrus Riley

    4) Vocalist of the Year (Female) - Etana

    5) Producer of the Year (Dance Hall) - Stephen McGregor

    6) Producer of the Year (Reggae) - Kemar 'DJ Flava' McGregor

    7) Best New Artiste (Male) - Konshens

    8) Best New Artiste (Female) - Stacious

    9) Duo/Group of the Year - Rdx

    10) Biggest Comeback Artiste - Harry Toddler

    11) Song of the Year (Dancehall) - So Special

    12) Song of the Year (Reggae) - Just As I Am

    13) Album of the Year - The Strong One - Etana

    14) Recording Artiste of the Year - Mavado

    15) Cultural/Positive Artiste of the Year - Queen Ifrica

    16) Breakthrough Artiste of the Year - Serani

    17) Song Writer/Lyricist of the Year - Vybz Kartel

    18) Singjay of the Year (Male) - Mavado

    19) Singjay of the Year (Female) - D'Angel

    20) Collaboration of the Year (Dancehall) - The Mission - Damian and Stephen Marley

    21) Collaboration of the Year (Reggae) - Bed Of Roses - Noddy Virtue and Jodiann Pantry

    22) Rhythm of the Year (Reggae) - Rub-A-Dub

    23) Rhythm of the Year (Dancehall) - Unfinished Bizniz

    24) Reggae/Dancehall Compilation of the Year - Various Artistes

    The Ultimate Reggae/ Dancehall X-Perience

    25) Most Improved Artiste - I-Octane

    26) Gospel Artiste of the Year - Prodigal Son

    Honour awards

    27) Video of the Year (Reggae) - Bad Man Don't Cry - Shaggy (Artiste), Jay Will (Director)

    28) Video of the Year (Dancehall) - Tic Toc - Busy Signal (Artiste), Ras Kassa (Director)

    29) Performance of the Year

    Beenie Man at Reggae Sumfest '08

    30) Gospel Song of the Year -

    Chaka Chi Chi

    31) Best Dressed Artiste - Moses 'Beenie Man' Davis

    32) Show of the Year - 'A Moment In Time'

    33) Dancehall Trendsetter of the Year - Flippa Mafia

    34) Best Original Dance Song/ Move of the Year - Gully Creeper - Elephant Man, Dance created by Ice