The Grammy committee recently released the list of nominees of the prestigious award and one musical legend has seen it fit to voice his concerns about the international award as it relates to reggae music.
Freddie McGregor has said about the arm of the Grammy committee that chooses the Reggae album of the year “an embarrassment of indescribable magnitude to Reggae music.”
The “Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely” singer insists foreigners should not be deciding this prestigious honour.
“When we allow non-Jamaicans to be the judge of our own Jamaican music, we have certainly lost it, and the reggae Grammy is officially a toy and a play thing for the West Coast of the United States,” McGregor said in a statement.
“I think what is happening is a slow deliberate deletion of our music form and if we don’t have Jamaicans on a panel to determine the best reggae album, how can white people decide that for us? We should always have our own reggae award but when one lives in a country where governments don’t like or support the music culture, the music will die. No wonder Jamaicans in Jamaica don’t buy music anymore. It is a disgrace that the country that has created such a powerful music is now relying upon foreigners to tell us what is good reggae music,” McGregor added.
The Recording Academy announced the official nominees for the 59th Grammy Awards earlier this month.
Those jostling for prestige in the reggae category include the Sly and Robbie-produced Reggae For Her by Devin Di Dakta and J.L. as well as six-time reggae Grammy winner, Ziggy Marley for his self-titled album, Raging Fyah for Everlasting and two American acts: J Boog for Rose Petals and Rebelution for Falling Into Place.
However, McGregor remains dissatisfied with the selection process.
It was revealed that Reggae artiste Ziggy Marley’s Israeli born manager and wife, Orly Agai Marley, has been elected governor of the L.A. chapter of the Grammy executive, a role vital in choosing which albums are nominated for consideration. She’s also current chairman of the Reggae Grammy committee.
Currently legends such has Beres Hammond, Gregory Issacs, Barrington Levy and McGregor himself has not won a Reggae Grammy.
Freddie McGregor has thus iterated the question, is the Grammy committee really in tune with what’s happening in the Reggae genre?