The sole first-time candidate among a bunch of Jamaican performers, reggae musician Kabaka Pyramid takes home the 2023 Grammy for Best Reggae Album.
Koffee, whose debut album Gifted was nominated, Sean Paul’s Scorcha, Shaggy’s Com Fly Wid Mi, and Protoje’s Third Time’s The Charm all lost to the vocalist and ‘faded away’ singer Kabaka Pyramid.
The winner was announced by presenter Arturo O’Farrill, during the 65th Annual Grammy Awards premiere ceremony, which was held held in Los Angeles, United States on Sunday February 5.
Kabaka praised the Recording Academy and the other nominees in the category for “representing Jamaica and the Caribbean” while being escorted on stage by his mother and other visitors.
“I know I don’t have whole heap a time, I just want say thank you to the Academy, thank you to all the other nominees. We are representing Jamaica, we representing the Caribbean.”
✨It's the smile paired with the GRAMMY for us.
🎶 Congratulations on your GRAMMY win, @Kabakapyramid: https://t.co/OuKk34l332 #GRAMMYs pic.twitter.com/x3KzCuPBrI
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) February 5, 2023
The entertainer dedicated the win to Bob Marley’s grandson Jo Mersa, who died last year, and “all a my family”, before ending with, “Nuff love, blessings every time” and a big up for fellow nominee Protoje.
“Thank you for everybody supporting Reggae music…positive, conscious music,” he continued. “Thank you to my mom, Marcia Salmon, my dad, Kipin Salmon, my management team…we just some kids from Kingston, Jamaica. Much love to Damian Marley, who produced the album. Stephen Marley. And this one is for Jo Mersa Marley, who we lost in December.”
The album, which was released on September 30, 2022 by Ghetto Youths International and Bebble Rock Music, had peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart after it sold 600 units during its first week of release in the United States.
The Kalling—which featured Reggae legend Peter Tosh, Protoje, Buju Banton, Jesse Royal, Damian Marley, and Stephen Marley—was ranked No. 1 on DancehallMag‘s list of the best Dancehall/Reggae albums of 2022.
As of December 31, 2022, The Kalling has sold 4,100 units in the US, including 4.7 million in audio and video streaming, according to data provided to DancehallMag from sales tracker Luminate.
It was Kabaka’s first nomination for Best Reggae Album.
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