Grange: Reggae stars among finalists for Jamaica Festival Song Competition

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, CD, MP The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, CD, MP MCGES/Marlon Morgan

Kingston, 10 June 2020 – “This year, we can say that the competition boasts some of the big names in the entertainment industry,” said the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange as she announced the ten finalists for the Jamaica Festival Song Competition.

According to Minister Grange, “among the top ten finalists we have established names such as Buju Banton, Freddy McGregor, Nazzleman (who has won the competition several times), Toots and the Maytals (who’ve won the competition several times) and many others.”

The other established artistes in the top ten are Papa Michigan of Michigan and Smiley fame; the Reggae quartet, L.U.S.T., featuring Lukie D, Thriller U, Singing Melody & Tony Curtis; and the Rising Stars winner, Shuga (formerly Brown Shuga).

Upcoming dancehall artistes Xtra Bigg, Radix OD, as well as the actress and television presenter, Sakina, complete the top ten.

“It’s a professional competition and I’m happy that it is now generating interest once again by people in the industry,” said Minister Grange who was emphatic that it is now to be called the “Jamaica Festival Song Competition”.

Minister Grange has been, over the last three years, leading the initiative to revitalise the Jamaica Festival Song Competition. She is happy that the effort is paying off. Judges listened to more than 150 entries at auditions in Montego Bay, Mandeville and Kingston before selecting the ten finalists.

The Minister said that as part of the revival, she is working to re-introduce the Pop and Variety Competition to find, polish and promote talent in the communities.

Minister Grange said the public will decide the Jamaica Festival Song winner.

“The fact that we are in a period of covid-19 when we are restricted in terms of having mass audiences and so on, we have decided to do the competition virtually — so the world is our stage on this occasion. And the winning song will be selected by the public and so I just want to say that everybody can participate.”

The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, which runs the competition, is finalising arrangements with telecommunications service providers on the mechanism to enable the public to select the winning song.

“When that song is selected about mid-July, there is enough time leading up to the Independence celebration for the song to be known — we want to hear that song on the lips of every man, woman and child,” said Minister Grange.

There’s a prize of three million dollars for the winning song, to be shared among the producer, the writer and the singer. Other prizes will be announced.

The Jamaica Festival Song Competition top ten for 2020 follows:


Song Title

Song Writer


Buju Banton

I Am Jamaican

Mark Myrie

Donovan Germaine

Mark Myrie


Jamaica Nice

Oneil Scott

Oneil Scott

Papa Michigan

Jamaica Dance

Anthony Fairclough

Courtney Panton

Xtra Bigg

Jamaica A Paradise

William Nembhard

Alex Taffe

Ainsworth Taffe

Rockers Elements Prod

Garrison Dream Team


One People

Mystic Campbell

Donovan Germaine

Penthouse Prod

Toots & The Maytals

Rise Up Jamaica

Frederick Hibbert

Frederick Hibbert

Radix OD

The Place To Be

O’Donald Haughton

Matthew Clarke

Stephen Chambers

Freddie McGregor

Tun Up Di Sound

Freddie McGregor

Dalton Brownie

Freddie McGregor

Dalton Brownie


We Are Jamaica

Jon Williams

Jon Williams


Wave The Flag

Cardiff Butt

Cardiff Butt

Size 8 Records



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