Reggae Grammy and the charts

The 53rd Grammy Awards, won’t reflect the will of reggae consumers who rank the albums of snubbed singjays Damian Marley and Gyptian above any nominee.

This year’s five nominees are all unusually absent from the top-10 charts, leading up to the February 13 award show.

DISTANT RELATIVES... one of the albums missing from the list of Grammy nominations but which continues to chart globally

The Grammy reflects the values of the Recording Academy rather than simply choosing the top selling albums. However charting albums are usually nominated indirectly reflecting the will of the US buying public.

Currently, the snubbed albums including Distant Relatives by Damian Marley and Nas, the year’s top selling album, and Hold You by Gyptian, the most global charting album, continue to ride the US reggae Billboard charts at number 4 and 9 respectively. Additionally, Hold You is at number three in the UK on the iTunes reggae albums chart.

Both albums were released during the 53rd Grammy’s window of eligibility between October 1, 2009 to August 31, 2010. That window excluded another heavy global charter, Great Expectation by the Jolly Boys currently at 10 in Greece and 8 in Spain on iTunes online reggae albums chart.

The selection of a Grammy winner begins with US based Recording Academy members and record companies submitting entries, which are then screened for eligibility and category placement. The Recording Academy’s voting members, all involved in the creative and technical processes of recording, then participate in the nominating process that determines the five finalists in each category; and the final voting process which determines the Grammy winners.

The 2010 nominations are: Before The Dawn by Buju Banton, Isaacs Meets Isaac by Gregory Isaacs & King Isaac; Revelation by Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Made In Jamaica by Bob Sinclar and Sly & Robbie, One Pop Reggae by Sly & Robbie And The Family Taxi and Legacy: An Acoustic Tribute To Peter Tosh by Andrew Tosh.

Its unlikely that winning the Grammy will boost the chart position or sales substantially for these albums like their pop counterparts, based on the results of previous winners. Only three of the 10 reggae Grammy winners since 2000 saw increased chart success of the winning album, according to Observer analysis of Billboard data published last year.

The 53rd Grammy list of nominees is led by the embattled deejay, Banton whose album was released while the artiste was incarcerated in a Florida jail on drug charges. The album is a prophetic piece of work from the deejay, and marks his fifth Grammy nomination.

Reggae artiste and son of Bob Marley, Stephen Marley, holds the record for most Grammy Award wins in the Reggae category. He has won a total of five trophies — three times as a member of the sibling band, The Melody Makers, and twice as a solo act. Shabba Ranks became the first deejay to take home a Grammy. First in 1992 for As Raw As Ever, then he followed up in 1993 with X-tra Naked. Other Jamaican acts to take the Grammy Award for Reggae include, Shaggy, Sean Paul, Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley, Beenie Man, Inner Circle, Bunny Wailer and Burning Spears.

Source: jamaicaobserver