Kingston, 8 July 2021 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced major changes to the gospel song component of the annual Jamaica Festival.
“Whereas in the past it was the Jamaica Gospel Song competition, this year it is the Jamaica Gospel Star competition,” said Minister Grange.
She said the format of the competition has changed.
Unlike its predecessor, which focused on finalists performing and building momentum for their original song, the Jamaica Gospel Star Competition will see contestants performing cover songs in two weekly televised performance shows.
“Through those performances, vocals, and how they’re able to capture their audience — that is how we will choose the star of gospel for 2021. “We’re looking for that star.”
The 10 finalists for the Jamaica Gospel Star competition include Daynea Deacon Jones who won the Gospel Song Competition in 2018, Mirriam Hibbert who was the runner-up in 2012, Kaydene Smith who was runner-up in 2010 and 2020 as part of the groups ‘Servants’ and ‘Euphoria’ respectively, and Daron Mitchell who was finished 3rd in 2019.
Former National Children’s Gospel winners Kevin Melbourne and Erica Lumsden are also among the Jamaica Gospel Star finalists which are completed by Raheim Betty, Latanya Elliot, Carlington Watson and Malika James.
Minister Grange said “the finalists will be promoted through 4 shows on CVM television. The public will be able to vote for each contestant and through the number of votes polled the Jamaica Gospel Star will be selected.”
The Acting Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, Marjorie Leyden-Kirton said “We’re very excited about our first Jamaica Gospel Star Competition. We have high expectations of these experienced and talented finalists who were selected from more than 100 entries. They will bless the nation with their performances.”