By NAN Contributor
News Americas, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tues. Aug. 9, 2016: Four top Jamaican entertainers will be lauded with the Order of Distinction at this year’s Jamaica National Honours and Awards Ceremony set for later this year in Kingston, Jamaica.
Dub poet Mutabaruka, whose real name is Allan Roy Hope along with dancehall star Shabba Ranks, born Rexton Gordon as well as the late William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke and Gregory Isaacs will all be honored. They will be awarded with the Order of Distinction – Commander Class.
Dub poet Mutabaruka is the first well-publicized voice in the new wave of poets who emerged in Jamaica in the early 1970’s and who were drawn to vocalizing thoughts on Black empowerment. He wears no shoes and eats only an Ital diet as with most Rastafarians.
Shabba Ranks was one of the most popular dancehall artists in the 90s, and was recognized worldwide for his gravel toned, rough-sounding voice and his toasting (or rapping) rather than singing. He won two Grammy awards for his work while signed to Epic Records.
William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke, also known as Bunny Scott, was the lead singer of Jamaican reggae band Third World as well as recording as a solo artist. He began his career in the mid-1960s and was also at one time a member of Inner Circle and half of the duo Bunny & Ricky. With Third World he recorded the successful 96° in the Shade album, and was with the band until his death in early 2014. He passed away on February 2, 2014 at the age of 65.
Gregory Isaacs was a noted Jamaican reggae musician who The New York Times once described as “the most exquisite vocalist in reggae.” His honorific nickname was the Cool Ruler and he earned international stardom for top tunes like “Night Nurse” and even appeared in the film Rockers, in which he performed “Slavemaster.” After a long battle with lung cancer, Isaacs died on October 25, 2010 at his home in London
Other honorees in this field include Chris Chin, president of VP records and sculptors Cecil Cooper and Basil Watson.
Meanwhile, other honorees will include late journalists, Gary Spaulding and Glenroy Sinclair, who died suddenly in June. They will be awarded the Order of Distinction (OD) – Officer Class, which is Jamaica’s sixth highest national honor.
The awards will be presented to 140 individuals on October 17, 2016 at Kings House, Jamaica.