The International Reggae & World Music Awards (IRAWMA) Pays Homage to Late Jacob Miller's Legacy

The International Reggae & World Music Awards (IRAWMA) Pays Homage to Late Jacob Miller's Legacy
Jacob Miller

Jacob Miller’s spirit filled the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center in South Florida on Friday, as he was posthumously awarded a lifetime achievement honor by the International Reggae And World Music Awards (IRAWMA). This prestigious recognition highlighted Miller's profound influence on the reggae genre and his significant contribution to the music industry. The event served as a poignant reminder of the enduring legacy left behind by the lead singer of the Inner Circle Band, who passed away tragically 44 years ago on March 23, at the age of 27.

Ephraim Martin, the founder of IRAWMA and a former photojournalist at the Daily Gleaner, shared a heartfelt anecdote with the audience. He revealed that he had a scheduled interview with Jacob Miller on the day of his untimely demise, but fate intervened, causing them to miss each other twice. Martin's reminiscence provided a glimpse into the missed opportunity to delve deeper into the mind of a musical genius.

Days prior to the fateful accident, Martin had the privilege of encountering both Jacob Miller and Bob Marley at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. The pair had just returned from Brazil, where their record label, Island Records, had established a new office. This serendipitous meeting added another layer of significance to the IRAWMA tribute, as it underscored the profound impact Miller had on the reggae community alongside his contemporaries.

Jacob Miller's distinctive vocals graced numerous Inner Circle hits, including "Standing Firm," "Tenement Yard," "Forward Ever, Backward Never," and "Keep on Knocking." These timeless classics continue to resonate with reggae enthusiasts worldwide, and their enduring popularity showcases Miller's profound musical prowess.

At the 41st staging of the IRAWMA, Jacob Miller was honored alongside esteemed artists such as Rita Marley, Freddie McGregor, Glen Washington, gospel deejay Papa San, Honorebel, Chris Chin of VP Records, broadcaster Clinton Lindsay, and Civil Rights lawyer Ben Crump. This gathering of esteemed individuals paid tribute to their collective achievements, highlighting their immense impact on the reggae and world music landscape.

The event also celebrated the rising talent within the industry. Teejay emerged as a standout artist, securing multiple awards for his hit song, "Drift." Notably, he won the accolades for Best Crossover Song (with Davido) and the U-Roy Award for Best Male Dancehall/DJ Rapper. Teejay's triumphs serve as a testament to the ongoing evolution of reggae music and the emergence of fresh voices that carry the genre forward.

The IRAWMA stage came alive with captivating performances, with notable contributions from Sharon Marley and Chino McGregor, who paid homage to their parents by performing several of their iconic songs. Additionally, Pablo YG, the recipient of the Most Promising Entertainer award, and Maria Jackson, who was honored with the Mutabaruka Award for Best Poet, delivered captivating performances that captivated the audience.

Ephraim Martin, who initiated the IRAWMA in Chicago in 1982, has been a dedicated social activist in the city for over four decades. His commitment to celebrating the rich heritage of reggae and world music continues to elevate the IRAWMA as a premier event that honors the legends and showcases the emerging talents of the genre.

As we commemorate Jacob Miller's lifetime achievement award at IRAWMA, we pay tribute to a reggae legend whose spirit lives on through his timeless music. His indelible mark on the world of reggae and his enduring influence on future generations of musicians will forever be cherished. To learn more about the vibrant reggae scene and stay updated on the latest news and events, visit the website where you can immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Jamaican culture and music.

CREDIT : The Jamaica Observer