The inaugural Caribbean Music Awards were launched last week where big names like Nicki Minaj, Wyclef Jean, Buju Banton, Beres Hammond, and more were celebrated.
The first annual award show honoring leaders in the Caribbean diaspora who have made significant contributions to the culture took place Thursday, August 31 at King’s Theatre in Flatbush, Brooklyn, an area known as New York’s “Little Caribbean,” Dance Hall Mag reports.
Among the night’s winners included Nicki Minaj who won Collaboration of the Year for her feature on “Likkle Miss” with Skeng, Machel Montano who received a Lifetime Achievement Award and won Male Artist of the Year (soca), and Beres Hammond who received an elite icon award and won male artist of the year (reggae, according to Billboard.
Reggae legend Buju Banton received a humanitarian award for his philanthropic efforts through his Buju Banton Foundation. Incarcerated dancehall artist Vybz Kartel won the Artist of the Decade, and the Impact Award (Reggae) went to Kabaka Pyramid.
The event was filled with entertainment with performances by the likes of Wayne Wonder, Alison Hinds, Kranium, Ding Dong (who also won an award), Rupee, Baby Cham, and more. Spice, Doug E. Fresh, Michael Rainey Jr., and more made special appearances.
Grammy-winning artist Wyclef Jean hosted the inaugural award show where he expressed his pride for the vibrant music, people, and culture that resonates throughout the West Indies.
“I’ve been to the Grammys, MTV Awards, all kinds of awards around the world. This is the only award show I feel so comfortable, I can wear my blood cl*t sandals,” Wyclef said during the show.
“Tonight is a very, very important night as we celebrate the Caribbean region. Tonight is history,” the Fugees rapper said.
“They steal our culture and they change the name of it. They call it ‘pop.’ Tonight, we’re taking everything back to the Caribbean.”
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