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40th International Reggae & World Music Awards - Nominees & Special Honorees Revealed

03/15/2023 by Press Release

40th International Reggae & World Music Awards - Nominees & Special Honorees Revealed

Martin’s International, producer of the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA), revealed at a live streamed media press conference on Thursday, March 9th, some 135 nominees vying in thirty-two categories, to take home the best of the 2021/22 Awards.
Dr. Ephraim Martin, President & Producer of IRAWMA led the conference and announced that the 40th Anniversary of IRAWMA, under the theme of “Reggae Rise”, will be a salute to Dancehall music and its monumental contribution to the evolution of Jamaican music over the last fifty years. This 40th ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 7th, 2023, at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica. 

It was revealed that twenty-one special music industry and media representatives will be honored this year. Among the awardees are; Dynasty Award to the world’s oldest newspaper, the Jamaica Daily Gleaner, now publishing over 189 consecutive years, Mr. Desmond Allen, OD (Journalist 50 years), the founding Editor of the Jamaica Observer, Julian Schmidt (Germany) founder of Reggaeville, one of the most popular reggae focused digital media platforms, California based Kaati Gaffney for RBA Publishing, and Bobby Clark and Lou Grant of Irie Jam Media & Bridge FM Radio based in both New York and Jamaica. 

Hon. Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange, OJ
(50+ years), Josef Bogdanovich, Usain Bolt, Copeland Forbes, OD (60 years), Marcia Griffiths (60 years), Freddie McGregor (60 years), Beres Hammond (40 years), Stone Love (50 years), and Ms. Pat ChinVP Records Co-founder (60+ years) are all recipients of special Honour Awards in the areas of humanitarian contributions, philanthropy and the overall development and growth of Jamaican music and culture. Peter Tosh will be awarded posthumously, for his work in the Global Legalization of Medical Marijuana. 

In addition to the nominations and special awardees several Inductees to the IRAWMA Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Award were announced. These included Beenie Man and Bounty Killer for untiring and extraordinary contributions to reggae music internationally, for 40 years and 30 years respectively. 

Sharon Burke was awarded an IRAWMA Lifetime Achievement Award for Extraordinary Contributions to the Reggae Music Industry over the Decades, Mutabaruka for five Decades of Extraordinary Contributions to Jamaica and the African Diaspora, worldwide, and Yasmine Peru for over 30 years of contributions to entertainment Journalism.

Among the leading nominees for this 40th IRAWMA are: Koffee with seven nods, Masicka, Popcaan, and Spice six each. Ding Dong, Gramps Morgan, and Sean Paul for four. Buju Banton, Capleton, Damian Marley, Dexta Daps, DJ Khaled, Kabaka Pyramid, Shaggy, Sizzla, Skeng, and Skillibeng three each. Running up with two nods each are: Burna Bwoy, Etana, Govana, Jada Kingdom, Queen Ifrica, Shanell Muir, Shenseea, Tarrus Riley, and Valiant. Scores of other nominees received one nod. 
Among the announcers revealing the nominees and special honorees were Africa/Ghana Dancehall Star Shatta Wale, Copeland Forbes, Gospel Artist and host Dr. Sharon Wiles, Ephraim Martin, Donna Roc, Carrie Mullings, Marcia McDonough, Courtney Campbell, and others.  
A full list of nominees, special awardees and categories of awards can be seen on Voting is now open to the public at, only one vote per person is allowed. Any attempted duplication of vote will void your vote and it will not be counted.

IRAWMA is made possible through generous contributions and support from The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport (MCGES), DSE (Downsound Records), VP Records, and Irie Jam Media/Bridge FM Radio. Also: The Halls of Justice” - Hon. L. Priscilla Hall/Hon. Shelvin L.M. Hall, Onstage TV, Rebel Vibez, Alpha Studios, 5th Century Radio, Express Media, Roc Factory, Balloons by Jaki Jade, Dainjah Rus Rebel Muzik and other category sponsors. 
We are coming out of the global pandemic, and need the support of the music industry, other businesses, and individuals to sponsor a category in their honor, and/or to make a tax-deductible donation to enhance the level of production, keep IRAWMA strong, and for the fortification of reggae and world music globally,” President, Dr. Martin said. 

A limited number of V-VIP and VIP tickets and hotel packages are available to the public at

 1. Emperor of Reggae & World Music – Hon. Bob Marley Award for Entertainer of the Year

  • Koffee
  • Kabaka Pyramid 
  • Popcaan
  • Sean Paul
  • Shaggy 

2. Peter Tosh Award for Recording Artist of the Year 

  • Koffee 
  • Masicka 
  • Popcaan
  • Sean Paul
  • Shaggy 
  • Valiant 

3. Jacob Miller Award for Best Male Vocalist

  • Christopher Martin
  • Dexta Daps 
  • Gramps Morgan
  • Romain Virgo
  • Tarrus Riley 

4. Best Female Vocalist

  • Etana
  • Koffee
  • Lila Iké 
  • Jada Kingdom
  • Queen Ifrica

5. Gregory Isaacs for Best Song

  • ”Red Gold and Green” - Kabaka Pyramid ft. Damian Marley 
  • “Bounce” - Ding Dong 
  • “Woman Like You” - Gramps Morgan
  • “These Street Knows My Name” - DJ Khaled, ft. Skillibeng, Buju Banton, Capleton, Bounty Killer & Sizzla    
  • “Go Down Deh “ - Spice, Sean Paul & Shaggy 

6. Toots Hibbert Award for Best Album/CD

  • Kabaka Pyramid - The Kalling 
  • Koffee - Gifted
  • Masicka - 438
  • Shenseea - Alpha
  • Spice - Emancipated

7. Best Crossover Song

  • Moments - Masicka ft. Stefflon Don
  • Likkle Miss - Skeng ft Nicki Minaj 
  • Toni Ann Singh - Burna Boy ft. Popcaan 
  • Bounce - Ding Dong 
  • Clockwork - Stefflon Don ft. Spice

8. Best Gospel Song

  •  “If I have Faith” – Alaine 
  • “The Reason” - Kevin Downswell
  • “Praising God” - Carlene Davis
  • “Beautiful Day (remix)” - Jermaine Edwards
  • “Dance Off” - DJ. Nicholas ft. Jason Mighty 

9. Best EP (Extended Play) Recording

  • “The Ripple EFFX” - Alkaline
  • “Acoustic Gold” - Etana 
  • “God N Gun” - Govana
  • “In Too Deep" - Kranium 
  • “Celebrating Nina: A Reggae Tribute to Nina Simone” - Ghetto Youths International 

10. U-Roy Award for Best Male Dancehall/Rap Artist

  • Govana 
  • Masicka
  • Popcaan
  • Skeng
  • Skillibeng

11. Best Female Dancehall/Rap Artist

  • Jada Kingdom
  • Koffee 
  • Shenseea 
  • Spice 
  • Shaneil Muir 

12. Best New Entertainer

  • Brysco
  • Shaneil Muir
  • Valiant
  • Jahshii
  • Laa Lee

13.  Best Calypso/Soca Entertainer                 

  • Bunji Garlin
  • KES The Band
  • Machel Montano
  • Farmer Nappy
  • Patrice Roberts

14.  Best Dancehall Stagecraft Entertainer

  • Beenie Man     
  • Dexta Daps    
  • Masicka 
  • Popcaan
  • Spice

15. Best Latin – Reggaeton Entertainer

  • Bad Bunny – Puerto Rico 
  • Daddy Yankee – Puerto Rico
  • Gloria “Goyo” Martínez - Colombia (Afro Colombian) 
  • Karol G – Colombia 
  • Rauw Alejandro – Puerto Rico 

16. Best African Dancehall Entertainer

  • Patoranking - Nigeria 
  • Star Zee - Sierra Leone
  • Shatta Wale - Ghana
  • Stonebwoy - Ghana
  • Winky D - Zimbabwe 

17. Best Afrobeat Entertainer

  • Burna Bwoy - Nigeria             
  • Diamond Platnumz -Tanzania
  • Eddy Kenzo - Uganda
  • Tems - Nigeria
  • Willy Paul - Kenya

18. Best Collaborated Song (Reggae with R&B, Rap, Latin, etc.)  

  • “Where We Come From” - DJ Khaled ft. Buju Banton, Bounty Killer & Capleton 
  • “Moments” - Masicka ft.  Stefflon Don 
  • "Likkle Miss" - Skeng ft. Nicki Minaj 
  • "Clockwork" - Stefflon Don ft. Spice  
  • "Vroom" - The FaNaTix f.t Koffee, Idris Elba, Lil Tjay, Davido & Moelogo

19. Best Reggae Rock Entertainer

  • Stick Figure
  • SOJA 
  • The Elovaters
  • The Movement
  • Tropidelic

20. Karl Mullings Award for Best Teen Entertainer (13-19 yrs. old)

  • DJ Switch - (Ghanaian)
  • Kairo McLean - (Canadian)
  • Kraff - (Jamaican)
  • Marksman – (Jamaican)
  • Rajah Wild – (Jamaican) 

21. Best Music Video 

  • “Bounce” - Ding Dong
  • "Where You Come From” - DJ Khaled ft. Buju Banton, Capleton & Bounty Killer
  • “Woman Like You” - Gramps Morgan
  • “Next To Me” - Popcaan ft. Toni Ann Singh 
  • “Switch It Up" - Protoje ft. Koffee                                  
  • “Whap Whap” - Skillibeng

22. Mutabaruka Award for Best Poet/Spoken Word Entertainer

  • Cherry Natural
  • Innocent         
  • Ras Takura
  • Wise Words
  • Yasus Afari

23. Bunny Wailer Award for Most Cultural/Educational Entertainer 

  • Damian Marley 
  • Gramps Morgan
  • Mutabaruka  
  • Tarrus Riley 
  • Queen Ifrica 
  • Sizzla

24. Dennis Brown Award for Most Promising Entertainer

  • Brysco
  • D’Yani
  • Moyann
  • Silk Boss
  • Stack Ashley

25.  Best Instrumentalist

  • Cat Coore
  • Dean Fraser 
  • Bongo Herman 
  • Sons of Mystro 
  • Robbie Lyn 

26. Best Sound System/DJ

  • Bass Odyssey 
  • Dynamite 
  • Innocent
  • King Addies
  • Stone Love

 27. Most Outstanding Dance Group

  • Afrozig
  • Dance Xpressionz
  • North Coast Boyz
  • Ravers Claver 
  • Xclusive Dance Group 

28. Best Caribbean Entertainer

  • Beenie Man
  • Dexta Daps
  • Machel Montano 
  • Roody Roodboy 
  • Sean Paul

29. Jean B. P. DuSable Award for Best Haitian Entertainer 

  • Baky
  • Enposib
  • K-Dilak and Bedjine         
  • Roody Roodboy
  • Rutshelle Guillaune

30. Record Producer of the Year

  • Anju Blaxx
  • Damian Marley 
  • Dunwell Productions 
  • Notnice
  • Rvssian

31. Comedian of the Year

  • Ity and Fancy Cat
  • Christopher “Johhny” Daley 
  • Julie Mango
  • Rohan Gunter
  • Twins of Twins

32. Concert of the Year

  • Reggae Jam Festival
  • Reggae Rise Up Florida
  • Reggae Sumfest 
  • Reggae Sundance
  • Rototom Sunsplash