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Buju Banton wins Jamaica Festival Song Competition

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange (left) presents the Jamaica Festival Song trophy to Buju Banton. The Reggae singer was named winner of the competition on Sunday (July 26) following a public vote. The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange (left) presents the Jamaica Festival Song trophy to Buju Banton. The Reggae singer was named winner of the competition on Sunday (July 26) following a public vote. MCGES/Marlon Morgan

Kingston, 27 July 2020 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has congratulated the Reggae star, Buju Banton, on winning the 2020 Jamaica Festival Song competition.

Buju Banton emerged winner of the competition on Sunday (yesterday) with his song titled, ‘I Am A Jamaican’ following a public vote.

Minister Grange said she was happy with the decision to have the public select the winner.

“We put the power to choose the Jamaica Festival Song into the hands of the public and I am happy to see how much Jamaicans warmed to that idea,” said Minister Grange, adding “I am satisfied to see the renewed interest in the Jamaica Festival Song Competition after years of hard work to revitalise our national celebrations.”

The winning song earned a total of J$3 Million in cash prizes to be divided among the singer, writer and producer.

In his first comments after being named winner of the Jamaica Festival Song competition, Buju Banton said:
“I want to congratulate the true winners tonight. Everyone who participated in this competition: you’re all winners. I was happy to share the stage with you all. But for me the true winners tonight are the Sunbeam Boys’ Home.”

Buju Banton will donate his winnings to the Children’s Home.

Papa Michigan of Michigan and Smiley fame placed second with his entry ‘Jamaica Dance’, while the actress and television presenter, Sakina, placed third with ‘We are Jamaica’.

Minister Grange thanked everyone, especially artistes and songwriters, who “played a part in making this year’s Jamaica Festival Song Finals a resounding success.”

According to Minister Grange: “The success of this year’s competition has provided us with the perfect springboard to soar to even greater heights. I anticipate even more exciting times ahead.”

Minister Grange also announced that because of the prevailing health concerns, there will be no Grand Gala this year inside the National Stadium. “To compensate for that and to ensure that we commemorate our independence in fine style, we’ve created a wonderful virtual show – the Jamaica 58 Independence Spectacular, which will be broadcast LIVE on Independence Day from 4pm to 7pm,” said the Minister.

Minister Grange also appealed for public support of the Jamaica Festival Gospel Song competition which will climax next Sunday, August 2. The winner will also be selected by public vote.

The list of finalists for the Jamaica Festival Gospel Song competition and associated voting line follows:

Treisha Williams ‘One Dose of the Holy Ghost’ 876-444-4210
Deon McDonald ‘You Are Real’ 876-444-4211
Sheri-Gaye Johnson ‘I Worship You’ 876-444-4212
Offniel Lamont ‘Forever God’ 876-444-4213
Father Reece ‘Satan Guweh’ 876-444-4214
Euphoria ‘Live Today’ 876-444-4215
Martanek Phipps ‘Ye Who’s Without Sin’ 876-444-4216
Anthony Malcolm ‘I Need You Close’ 876-444-4217
Oliver Ashley ‘No Bargain’ 876-444-4218
David Sutton ‘Our Response’ 876-444-4219

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