Damian Marley walked away with the MOBO Award for this year’s “Best Reggae Act.”
Reggae superstar went up against a competitive field which included Popcaan, who won the award in 2015 and 2016, Alkaline, Aidonia and Chronixx at the 22nd Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards, held at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, England on Wednesday (Nov. 29).
Marley, who had a total of six nominations in the category, last won the award in 2005.
On Tuesday (Nov. 28), the “Welcome To Jamrock” singer was also nominated for Best Reggae Album in the upcoming Grammy Awards for his latest album Stony Hill, which has been topping several charts across the globe and has been receiving rave reviews from music critics worldwide.
The long-awaited Stony Hill was issued by Island Records in 2017, the same year he guested on Jay Z’s 4:44 album.
The MOBO Awards organization was established in 1996 by Kanya King and Andy Ruffell. It recognises the achievements of artistes performing in genres such as hip hop, soul, jazz, gospel, reggae and R&B in black or urban music.
The Best Reggae Act category has been a part of the MOBO Awards since 1997. So far, local acts such as Beenie Man, Sean Paul, Mr Vegas and Popcaan have won it.
Meanwhile, watch “R.O.A.R.” music video by Damian Marley, off his Stony Hill.
Damian Marley was only two when his father, Bob Marley, died, but the youngest of the Marley sons had music deeply imprinted in his DNA.
In 1993, performing as Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, he toured alongside Shabba Ranks on the ragga DJ’s World Unity Concert.
In 1995 the Marley genealogy led to a partnership with Julian Marley, who joined him at performances on the Reggae Sunsplash and Sumfest festivals.
The success of their performance led to an international tour supporting Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers that covered South, Central and North America and culminated in the Marley Magic: A Marley Family Reunion in New York’s Central Park.
Thanks to his success as a live performer, Tuff Gong subsidiary Ghetto Youths International signed him and in 1996, released his first solo album, Mr. Marley.
His next album, 2001’s Halfway Tree, earned a Grammy nomination, but the public generally overlooked the ambitious album. Not so for the reggae-meets-hip-hop single “Welcome to Jamrock,” which became an urban phenomenon soon after its summer 2005 release.
The well-rounded album Welcome to Jamrock delivered on the promise of the single that same year, reaching the Top Ten and eventually winning a Best Reggae album Grammy. It featured a wide range of guests, from Bobby Brown to Bunny Wailer, as it blended hip-hop, classic reggae, dancehall and modern R&B.
In the years that followed, Marley kept up a busy schedule of guest appearances on albums by the likes of Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Mariah Carey and his brother Stephen.
In 2010, he teamed with Nas on the Africa-themed album Distant Relatives, that made even more clear Marley’s link to the hip-hop community.
The next few years saw Marley back as a featured player on albums by Bruno Mars, Joss Stone, Sean Paul, and Shaggy, and releasing a single with Skrillex in 2012, all while touring and working slowly on his new album, Stony Hill.
Damian Marley has been making a strong return to the music scene recently after remaining relatively quiet for a number of years.