NOMINATIONS for the 57th Grammy Awards will be announced tomorrow. The Best Reggae Album category (formerly Best Reggae Recording) was instituted in 1985 and saw reggae group Black Uhuru winning the first with “Anthem”, produced by Sly and Robbie.
Over the years, the category has been dominated by the Marley family, Bunny Wailer and to a lesser extent Jimmy Cliff and Burning Spear.
Here are my predictions as to who will be nominees for the 2015 Best Reggae Album Grammy.
Shaggy — ‘‘Out of Many’’ One Music (Ranch Entertainment)
Released on October 1, 2013, this is Shaggy’s 11th studio effort.
Produced by Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, it features collaborations with Tarrus Riley, Tessanne Chin, Beres Hammond, Chronixx, Cocoa Tea, Damian Marley, Konshens and Peetah Morgan.
The set opened at number three on the Billboard Reggae Album chart with first-week sales of over 741 copies.
Shaggy has been nominated for Best Reggae Album four times. He won in 1996 for Boombastic.
Sean Paul — ‘‘Full Frequency’’ (VP/Atlantic)
“Full Frequency”, Sean Paul’s sixth album, was released in February. Although he has been the most prolific dancehall act in mainstream America for the past 12 years, he has won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album once, in 2004 for Dutty Rock. He has four nominations under his belt.
Ziggy Marley — ‘‘Fly Rasta’’ (Tuff Gong)
“Fly Rasta” was released in April. It has been the most commercially successful album in the United States by a Jamaican reggae artiste this year, with sales of over 16 000 copies to date.
Marley won three Grammys as lead singer of the Melody Makers. Solo, he has been nominated in the Best Reggae Album category three times, winning in 2007 for Love is My Religion and this year for Ziggy Marley In Concert.
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry – ‘‘Back on the Controls’’ (Upsetter)
Released in May, Back on the Controls became Lee “Scratch” Perry’s highest charting album in the US when it peaked at number five on Billboard’s Reggae Album chart. Perry, arguably reggae’s greatest producer, won the Best Reggae Album Grammy in 2003 for Jamaican ET. He has been nominated four times.
SOJA— ‘‘Amid The Noise and Haste’’ (ATO)
The American reggae band is likely to earn its first nomination for their sixth studio album, “Amid The Noise and Haste”. The album opened at number one on the Billboard Reggae Album chart and number 20 on the Billboard 200 Album chart in August with first-week sales of over 12 000 copies. To date, it has sold over 22 000 copies.
“Amid The Noise and Haste” is produced by Jamaican Dwayne “Supa Dups” Chin-Quee.
Maxi Priest — ‘‘Easy to Love’’ (VP Records)
This is the British singer’s comeback set. Released in July, it is Priest’s first album in almost seven years.
It opened at number two on the Billboard Reggae Album chart, selling over 1 100 copies in its first week. “Easy to Love” has sold over 5 000 copies. — Jamaica Observer.