Thursday evening marked a significant milestone as the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York City, played host to the inaugural staging of the Caribbean Music Awards (CMA).
The event had a resounding mission: to honour and celebrate the exceptional talent and creative prowess of artists hailing from the Caribbean. These creatives have made indelible contributions to the rich tapestry of regional music genres, and the CMAs were designed to shine a spotlight on their invaluable influence.
The ceremony was hosted by the multi-award-winning Haitian rapper and actor Wyclef Jean. Despite encountering some logistical and technical hurdles, the showcase proved to be a remarkable affair. It was a night filled with enthralling performances by some of the Caribbean’s most illustrious stars, heartfelt tributes, and numerous unexpected moments.
The awards recognised several notable winners, including Vybz Kartel, who, despite being incarcerated, was named “Artiste of the Decade.” Spice, the Love and Hip-Hop star, claimed the title of “Female Artiste of the Year,” and Ding Dong was celebrated for “Best Dance Song of the Year.” Notably, Dexta Daps had a special evening, securing his first official award as “Dancehall Performer of the Year.” The legendary Beres Hammond, known for his soul-stirring melodies and evocative lyrics that have resonated across generations, received the esteemed Elite Icon Award.
Organised by the Caribbean Elite Group, publishers of the esteemed “Caribbean Elite Magazine,” this inaugural event was an unequivocal success. It commemorated excellence across a diverse spectrum of musical genres, encompassing Reggae, Dancehall, Soca, Kompa, and Zouk. The CMAs celebrated more than twenty outstanding artists, recognising their achievements in coveted categories such as “Album of the Year,” “Song of the Year,” “Producer of the Year,” “Lifetime Achievement,” “Video of the Year,” “People’s Choice,” and “Caribbean Music Event of the Year.”
The event witnessed a full house, with luminaries from the Caribbean music scene coming together at the Kings Theatre, showcasing unity and shared pride in celebrating their collective accomplishments.