Celebrating the Winners of the 41st International Reggae And World Music Awards

by Howard Campbell

LAUDERHILL – The finest in reggae, dancehall and world music were recognized at the 41st International Reggae And World Music Awards held on March 22 at Lauderhill Performing Arts Center.

The contributions of broadcasters,  administrators and humanitarians were also acknowledged during the event which was held for the third time in South Florida.

Heading the winners were deejays Teejay and Byron Messia, with three awards each. They dominated dancehall charts in 2023 with the hit songs Drift and Talibans, respectively.

Photo Credit: Steve James – Facebook
Best Song, Best Male Deejay/rapper and Best Collaborated Song
  • Teejay won the Best Song, Best Male Deejay/rapper and Best Collaborated Song (Drift Remix with Davido) categories.
Best Crossover Song
  • Byron Messia,  who was born in Jamaica but raised in St. Kitts, won for Best Crossover Song (Talibans with Burna Boy), Best New Entertainer and Best Music Video (Tallaban II with Burna Boy)
Entertainer of The Year – Recording Artist of The Year

Winning two awards each were Sean Paul, Christopher Martin and Pablo YG.

  • Sean Paul won for Entertainer of The Year for and Recording Artist of The Year.
  • Martin won the Best Gospel Song (with Goodness of God) and Best Male Vocalist categories.

Rising deejay Pablo YG, who performed at the event, won the Best Teen Entertainer and Most Promising Entertainer categories.

Best Female Vocalist / Best Female DJ/Rapper

Etana won Best Female Vocalist while Spice was selected Best Female DJ/Rapper.

Philanthropy Award / Lifetime Achievement Award

Not to be left out were the stalwarts including Rita Marley and Freddie McGregor. The former received the Philanthropy Award, while McGregor, who attended, was given a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Their children, Sharon Marley and Chino McGregor,  delivered spirited renditions of some of their songs.

Freddie McGregor, who suffered a stroke 18 months ago,  accepted his award in a wheelchair. He received a standing ovation from the audience. “Thanks to the Almighty for life and for sparing my life,” said the veteran singer.

Special Honors

Fellow artists Jacob Miller (posthumously), Glen Washington, Papa San and Honorebel; Chris Chin, CEO of VP Records, and broadcasters Amy Wachtel and Clinton Lindsay, also received special honors.

Florida Entertainer of The Year award

Viola siblings Sons of Mystro won the Florida Entertainer of The Year award.

Celebrating the Winners of the 41st International Reggae And World Music Awards  - Sons of Mystro
Sons of Mystro
Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award

Dr. Sharon Wiles received the Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award. American Civil Rights lawyer, Ben Crump, was also given a special award.

The IRAWMA was first held in 1982 in Chicago by founder Ephraim Martin, a Jamaican photojournalist who is a longtime resident of the Windy City.