Reggae music, originating from Jamaica’s streets and dance halls, has been added to UNESCO’s list of cultural products deserving recognition for its social and political significance. The Annual Universal Reggae Awards (AURA) will pay tribute to the numerous talented individuals and organizations within the Reggae community at the inaugural ceremony at London’s De’Vere Connaught Rooms Grand Hall on July 29, 2023.
The ceremony will see Reggae and Dancehall artists worldwide gathering to celebrate the genre and honour some of its most significant contributors. Among the performers and awardees at this grand event are Koffee, who has received five nominations, including Best Contemporary Reggae Album, Best International Female Artist, Best International Dancehall Single, Best International Dancehall Artist, and Best Reggae Video.
Beenie Man, known as the King of Dancehall, has two nominations for Best International Male Dancehall Artist and Best International Dancehall Lifetime Achievement Award, while dancehall superstar Sean Paul has been shortlisted for four awards, including Best Contemporary Reggae Single, Best International Dancehall Album, Best International Male Dancehall Artist, and Best Reggae Video.
Stefflon Don, a MOBO and NME award winner, is up for the Best UK Dancehall Female Artist award. Shaggy, aka Mr Boombastic, has been nominated for two awards, including Best Contemporary Reggae Album and Best International Male Dancehall Artist.
Protojè, a Grammy-nominated musician, songwriter, and singer, has received two nods for Best Contemporary Reggae Album and Best Reggae Roots Single. Beres Hammond, a Grammy nominee with a unique sound, has two nominations for Best Contemporary Reggae Single and Best International Male Contemporary Artist, while Etana, a multi-Grammy nominee known as “The Strong One,” is nominated for Best International Female Reggae Singer.
Mykal Rose, the voice of Black Uhuru and winner of the first Reggae Grammy, has been nominated for the Male Reggae Singer Lifetime Achievement Award, and Janet Kay MBE, the Queen of Lovers Rock, is nominated for the UK Female Lifetime Achievement Award.
The AURA ceremony promises to be a spectacular event, honouring the most influential and talented figures within the Reggae community. This recognition highlights the importance of Reggae music and its role in shaping cultural identity and promoting social and political consciousness.