HomeWorld NewsThe First-Ever Annual Caribbean Music Awards: What You Missed And Full Winners List – DancehallMag
The First-Ever Annual Caribbean Music Awards: What You Missed And Full Winners List – DancehallMag
September 1, 2023
The first annual Caribbean Music Awards was held on Thursday at King’s Theatre in Flatbush, Brooklyn, the neighborhood known as New York’s “Little Caribbean.” Hosted by Grammy-winning artist Wyclef Jean, the show was a vibrant and spirited celebration of all music, people, and culture with roots in 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 bloodclxt sandals,” Clef told the audience at the top of the show.
“Tonight is a very, very important night as we celebrate the Caribbean region. Tonight is history,” the Haitian music mogul 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.”
Unlike other major music awards like the Grammys or Billboard Music Awards, the Caribbean Music Awards recognized artists from Caribbean music genres, including Soca, Dancehall, and Kompa, among others. Award recipients were chosen by fans, who had opportunities to vote for their favorite songs, artists, and music videos online, months before the event.
“It’s much more special when it’s from your own people,” said Kabaka Pyramid, who was awarded the 2022 Impact Award. He told DancehallMag, “The vibe in here is crazy. Real Caribbean culture inna di place. It’s just a lovely vibe, and I’m glad to be here.”
Opening with a performance by Karnival Bounce Crew with appearances from R&B singer Mya, Majah Hype, DJs Jabba and Bobby Konders, and more throughout the night, the energy in King’s Theatre was infectious.
Dancehall artist Ding Dong amped up the crowd along with an entourage of dancers who joined him in performing some of his most popular songs, including Genna Bounce, Fling, and Happiness. Later on, he was awarded Dance Song of the Year for his 2022 song, Bounce.
From Best New Artist winner Tempa to veterans like Wayne Wonder and Machel Montano, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, to Barbados-born rapper Doug E. Fresh, the Caribbean Music Awards accounted for decades of Caribbean music, and music influenced by the Caribbean, that has not received recognition from larger, mainstream music organizations. As generations of artists and fans sang and danced together, the evolution of Caribbean music and its need to be celebrated was undeniable.
“The music has evolved, and life is all about changing too,” Joseph Stepper told DancehallMag. The Wife singer said, “Music is life, so it have to change. If we see the youth them goin astray, I and I as the ancient and some of the elder artist have to teach them the right thing too…The youth is the future.”
In one of the show’s most memorable moments, a younger generation of Jamaican artists sang in honor of Beres Hammond, who was the Elite Icon Award Honoree.
Dexta Daps, Kranium, Toni-Ann Singh, and Romain Virgo performed a medley of Hammond’s hits, including Step Aside, Rock Away, Double Trouble, and I Feel Good. Kranium, who sang Sweet Lies and Standing in my Way in honor of the Reggae lovers’ rock icon said, “It was a great feeling to perform and actually doing a tribute to him was one of the most amazing feelings.”
“We grew up listening to Beres and I’m happy I get a chance to be in the music industry and actually meet him and do a tribute to him,” Kranium told DancehallMag. “That was a highlight for me.”
Hammond was also officially honored by the New York City Council for his contributions to the Caribbean community.
The night concluded with a high-energy performance by Wayne Wonder, Cham, and Dexta Daps, who won his first-ever award in the Performer of the Year – Dancehall category.
“The best place to be in the world tonight is right here,” Cham told DancehallMag. “This should’ve been going on for a long time, but nothing happens before its time, so we are blessed and happy to be here.”
Here is a list of the night’s winners and nominees:
Artist Of The Decade
Winner: Vybz Kartel Machel Montano Kes The Band Beenie Man Chronixx Mavado Bounty Killer
2022 Impact Award – Reggae
Winner: KabakaPyramid Royal Blu Sevana Mortimer Jaz Elise
Humanitarian Award Honoree – Buju Banton Foundation
People’s Choice Award (Fan Favorite)
Winner: Kes Dexta Daps Shenseea Teejay Patrice Roberts Vybz Kartel Skeng
2022 Impact Award – Soca
Winner: Ding Dong Rae DJ Cheem Jadel Adam O
Video of the Year – Reggae/Dancehall
Winner: Next to Me – Popcaan (feat. Toni-Ann Singh) Bounce – Ding Dong History – Masicka Born Fighter – Jahshii Dolly – Shenseea
Video of the Year – Soca
Mind My Business – Patrice Roberts Dingolay – Nailah Blackman, Mical Teja Jolene – Kes, Dwala Nasty Flow – Nessa Preppy, DJ Private Ryan Jelly – Nadia Batson Easy – Desta Garcia
Elite Calypso Music Award Honoree – David Rudder
Female Artist of the Year (Dancehall)
Winner: Spice Shenseea Shaneil Muir Jada Kingdom Tina (HoodCelebrity) Stefflon Don