Spice is no longer a self-proclaimed Queen of Dancehall. In the wee hours of Saturday, July 23, 2022–at Reggae Sumfest’s Festival Night One—she was crowned Queen of the genre by DownSound CEO Josef Bogdanovich, after she announced that her sophomore album will be released next month.
Her ‘coronation’ was stalled for two years due to the absence of Dancehall’s greatest night because of the pandemic. However, it seemed to have caught the Romantic Mood singer off guard when emcee Miss Kitty told her to remain on stage after delivering her set.
Spice, whose given name is Grace Hamilton has officially dethroned Marion Hall—who formerly operated under the moniker Lady Saw until her conversion to Christianity in 2015. Saw was crowned in October 2012.
After presenting her with her Diamond encrusted tiara, the DownSound Boss took a few seconds to express how remarkable the newly minted Queen is at her craft. “How long ago was Lady Saw on our stage? How long ago was that? That’s a long time ago. And to be able to go on this journey for so long to make it where you’ve made it…goodluck to everybody else!” he declared.
Her son, Nicholas joined in on stage to share in the remarkable moment and was even seen wiping a couple of tears of joy.
It was pretty obvious to everybody why she was deserving of the title following her act. In true Spice fashion, she emerged onstage with her dancers in unorthodox costumes. This year, the theme was outer space.
At approximately 2:49 a.m., the eight person crew, led by their captain marched on stage to meet the hundreds of screaming patrons inside Catherine Hall, Montego Bay. Just like the previous years, the witty lyricist spat freestyles to address societal issues.
She addressed Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who recently expressed his disappointment with Dancehall songs such as Skillibeng’s Whap Whap and Brysco’s Code (Ensure). “Honourable Andrew Holness a.k.a. Mr ‘Bro Gad’ I wanna reason with you tonight and when mi reason with you tonight,” Spice told the crowd.
“Mi waan yuh fi ensure seh police stop harass the poor/ Weh fight the higgler dem weh sell inna di store/ Money fi a flow through poor people door…” she freestyled.
As expected, the Queen also had an outfit change on stage. Her second fit being a silver bedazzled dress to accentuate the half blue/multi-colored wig that she sported.
Fans were treated to favorites such as Romping Shop, Go Down Deh, So Mi Like It, and Send It Up.
New Album: Emancipated
Now an independent artist, Spice also announced that her second album, Emancipated, will be released on August 19 by UnitedMasters. The name, she says, signifies her separation from VP Records after 10 tumultuous years.
Clap Clap, the first single from the project, was released yesterday (July 22) under her label, Spice Official ENT.
“Today is a big day, I’m free today! I am a free artist, I am an independent artist,” she said yesterday. “I’m now an independent artist and it’s something big, it’s something to talk about.”
The QOD unleashed her many thanks to industry friend Shaggy, who executive-produced her Grammy-nominated debut project 10 that was released last year August. It appears the It Wasn’t Me superstar had a hand in liberating Spice from her VP contract.
“Big up to Shaggy, the great Shaggy! Mi haffi big him up, no other than Mr. Orville Burrell … Big up youself Shaggy,” she said.
She was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Reggae Album category for her debut project 10.
Spice will celebrate her 40th birthday on August 6.
In the meantime, the Honest Mykel-directed music video for Clap Clap features a bumper-shaking display, set in motion by her Team Spice dancers.
The production held nothing back to spotlight the Queen in all her glory; surrounded by her dancers, and switching between elaborate Dancehall-inspired costumes, with exclusive access to a private jet as her playground while other scenes immerse her in a kaleidoscopic party setting to spur epic dance vibes.
Press play on the video below.