Industry Influencer Sharon Burke Now In The  Pursuit Of A Dancehall Grammy Category

Shaggy & Solid Music Agency To Facilitate And Deliver The 'Island Music Conference' February 2023 – Radio DubplateIn the aftermath of Grammy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. indicating that he was not ruling out Dancehall becoming a category on its own, president of Solid Agency, Sharon Burke, one of the most respected persons in Jamaican music, has vowed to put things in motion.

“Let’s Lobby for Dancehall to have its own Category. We will write to the Academy. We will have the Dancehall fraternity attach their signature. Well done @jrwatkis . Thank you Harvey for sharing. Hope to see you Feb 8th to 12th 2023 Island Music Conference,” she noted on an Instagram post where she shared a snippet of the CEO’s interview with World Music Views.

A week ago, Mason, said that “if the Dancehall community wanted its own category, and they felt so strongly about it”, they could submit a proposal and with the right rationale, justification and the requisite signatories, it could be done.

DJ Khaled, Sharon Burke To Stage 'Khaled And Friends Concert' In Jamaica - DancehallMagThe Grammy Awards are considered the most prestigious peer-voted music award in the world.   The awards are presented by the United States’ Recording Academy of Arts and Sciences, which is described as a “learned academy of musicians, producers, recording engineers, and other musical professionals, which via the Grammys, recognizes achievements in the music industry of songs and music which are popular worldwide”.

Several Dancehall artists have won the Best Reggae Album Grammy award over the years, the first being Shabba Ranks in 1992 for his album As Raw As Ever.   The Seaview Gardens native also repeated the feat the following year with X-Tra Naked.

Diamond-selling Shaggy was next in 1996 with Boombastic, while Beenie Man won with Art & Life in 2001.  Sean Paul was the last to receive a Grammy for his hardcore Dancehall album Dutty Rock in 2004.

Five questions with Sharon Burke | Entertainment | Jamaica GleanerBurke, who formed Solid Agency, her artist management, bookings, and event management company in 1992, has contributed greatly to the development of the careers of some of the most iconic names in Jamaican music.   She, over the years, served the booking agent for shows and concert tours for the likes of Freddie McGregor, Admiral Bailey, Barrington Levy, Third World, Bounty Killer, Voicemail, Aidonia, Wayne Marshall, Etana, Tony Matterhorn and Kiprich.

She has also been the mastermind behind some of the most significant dancehall events ever produced in Jamaica, among them Buju Banton’s Long Walk to Freedom, Reggae Sunsplash 1995, Saddle to the East, Fully Loaded, Re-Loaded, and Overloaded.  She was also involved with the Shaggy & Friends Charity Concert in 2009 and Bounty Killer’s It’s a Party.

She was also venerated for marshaling the production of the stellar VERZUZ clash between Bounty Killer and Beenie Man, which was witnessed by more than 3.5 million people across the world.

Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Shaggy, DJ Khaled Lauded Sharon Burke For Verzuz Success - Urban IslandzHer post on the Dancehall Grammy was supported by Gramps Morgan, while recording artist, Alex Marley a relative of Bob Marley pointed out that the messages emanating out of Dancehall music ought to be positive going forward in order for it to gain any traction.

“Let’s make dancehall a positive music genre with a positive message that can have the same impact as the music our Rastafari ancestors created and made the world know about Jamaica 🇯🇲 .. Afro beats doesn’t talk about violence etc I think that’s why it’s making allot of progress it’s just fun songs people can dance to,” he noted.

Another respondent, quarter_dread expressed similar sentiments as Marley.

“Y’all should be fighting to improve the quality of releases in dancehall and to bring back the authentic sound that the world so crave. Are we gonna be lobbying for a dancehall category and thinking we’ll convince them with the kinda garbage being made now?” he noted.

Another follower paused to point out that the lack of membership to the Grammys was an issue that ought to be addressed.

“Help the artists and producers to sign up as members. They can only take dancehall serious when they see the dancehall artistes and gatekeepers being serious in these rooms showing the level of influence and relevance of dancehall to music on a whole,” he added.

Source: Sharon Burke Mobilizing Industry In Pursuit Of Dancehall Grammy Category – DancehallMag

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