Reggae star Kabaka Pyramid has won the 2023 Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album with his sophomore album The Kalling.
The winner was announced by presenter Arturo O’Farrill, during the 65th Annual Grammy Awards premiere ceremony, which was held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 5.
The Well Done singer came out ahead of Koffee, who was nominated for her debut album Gifted, Sean Paul, who was nominated for Scorcha, Shaggy for Com Fly Wid Mi, and Protoje for Third Time’s The Charm.
Kabaka, who was accompanied onstage by his mother and other guests, thanked the Recording Academy and the other nominees in the category.
“I can’t believe it. Rastafari Live! Just wanna say thank you to the Academy. Thank you to all the other nominees, who represented Jamaica, representing the Caribbean. Thank you for everybody supporting Reggae music…positive, conscious music,” he began in his acceptance speech.
“Thank you to my mom, Marcia Salmon, my dad, Kipin Salmon, My management team: Abishai Hoilett, Duane McDonald. We just some kids from Kingston, Jamaica.”
He continued: “Big up to Uncle Dulu, big up to YoungPow. Nathalia, who sung on my album as well. Ronnie, my publicist, big up yourself for all the hard work.”
“Much love to Damian Marley, who produced the album. Stephen Marley. And this one is for Jo Mersa Marley, who we lost in December for Taiwo McKenzie and all my family. Nuff Love, Blessings every time. Protoje big up yourself!”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.Music journalist Nicholas Nam wrote: “With Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley on board as an executive producer, Kabaka comes unbound across The Kalling, offloading torrents of wisdom on tracks as wide-ranging as the booming roots anthem Red Gold and Green to the sublime, Spanish guitar-bearing Life Is Beautiful. The future of Jamaican music converges with its past as Kabaka infuses spirituality with pragmatism throughout these sample-bearing, forward-facing tracks.”
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