KINGSTON, Jamaica: Buju Banton, who is in the midst of fighting drug charges, and reggae legend Gregory Isaacs who succumbed to liver cancer recently, are included in a list of five nominees for the Best Reggae Album in this year’s Grammy awards. Buju’s 10-track album, ‘Before the Dawn’, which was released in September and debuted at number two on Billboard’s Reggae Albums chart while the singer was still in prison in Florida, has earned him a spot among the nominees.
This is Buju’s fifth Grammy nomination.
His Gargamel Music label said that despite incarceration, Buju, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was heavily involved in putting together ‘Before the Dawn’, his ninth studio album, “from choosing the final track listing and laboring over the phone with the producers and engineers to get the mixes just right, to conceptualizing the project's distinguished packaging”.
Physical copies of the album contain a special note written from inside the Pinellas County Jail where Buju had been held before being released on bail last month, pending his retrial in February.
The nomination for Isaacs comes five weeks after his October 25th death and comes for his part in ‘Isaacs Meets Isaac’, a collaboration with Zimbabwean reggae singer King Isaac. The 12-track album was the last Isaacs album released before his death.
The duo Sly and Robbie received two nominations – for ‘Made In Jamaica’ which was produced with Bob Sinclair and ‘One Pop Reggae’. The final nominee was Andrew Tosh, the son of another late reggae great Peter Tosh, for his ‘Legacy - An Acoustic Tribute To Peter Tosh’.