Kingston, 4 August 2020 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that the Jamaican music stars, Shaggy, Marcia Griffiths and Ken Boothe will be honoured during the nation’s Independence celebrations on Thursday.
The three will be presented with Jamaica Reggae Icon Awards at the Independence Spectacular, a virtual edition of the annual Independence Grand Gala, on August 6.
“Covid has forced us to change many things, but it will not stop us celebrating our country and outstanding Jamaicans who’ve been such great role model and inspirations, not only for us, but for the people of the world. It is a great joy to express, on behalf of the nation, our great love and appreciation to Shaggy, Marcia and Ken,” said Minister Grange.
The Independence Spectacular will be held without an audience at the National Arena in keeping with the necessary restrictions on gatherings to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Minister Grange said: “Only the awardees, performers, technical, organising and management teams will be allowed at the venue. However, we have made arrangements for Jamaicans at home and abroad to watch the event live on TVJ and PBCJ and on social media. And it will be a great show.”
The Independence Spectacular will feature presentations in music, drama, song and dance, focused on the theme ‘Wheel and Come Again.’
“Wheel and Come Again is really our aspiration. It is a call to all of us to look at our current circumstances, much of it caused by the pandemic, and to assess, come up with a plan and go again like the resilient and strong Jamaicans that we are,” said Minister Grange.
The event will also feature popular local artistes, including the 2020 Jamaica Festival Song winner, Buju Banton; Kemar Highcon; Beenie Man; Dre Island; Christopher Martin; Tessanne Chin; Wayne Marshall; Kevin Downswell; Kukudoo; Chevaughn; Ikaya; Shereita; and Richie Stephens.
L’Acadco, Dance Xpressionz and Citi Dance Company will also perform on the show which begins at 4pm with the Armed Forces Day Parade and the National Flag Raising Ceremony.
“Each year after the Grand Gala, we would have street parties in major towns across the island, but the reality of covid-19 means we cannot do that this year,” said Minister Grange.
To compensate for the absence of street dances across the island, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission will be hosting an Independence Night Virtual Street Dance, featuring Ricky Trooper, DJ Boom Boom, Collin Hines, DJ Rodrick, Elephant Man, and Jahvinci.
The Virtual Street Dance, from 8pm to midnight, will be broadcast live on TVJ, RETV, PBCJ, FAME 95FM, HITZ 92FM, Radio Jamaica and online.
The Minister thanked the Jamaica Tourist Board, KFC, Main Event Entertainment Group, Chase Fund and TVJ for enabling the 2020 Independence celebrations.
“The celebrations this year are not what we have become accustomed to and we have to make adjustments. But let’s build a vibe, decorate our spaces in the Jamaican colours, display our flag, and celebrate our country. Resilient and Strong, Let’s celebrate Jamaica 58.”
The JCDC will award prizes for the Best Decorated Town Centre, Best Decorated Business Place, Best Decorated Government Office, Best Decorated Private Residence, Best Diaspora Community Celebration, and Best Media Celebration as part of the Spirit of Independence competition.
“I am inviting Jamaicans at home and abroad to celebrate the Spirit of Independence with vibrant and creative displays of the national colours,” said Minister Grange.