POSITIVE MAKES HISTROY AS TOP WINNER
& BAHAMIAN GOSPEL ARTISTS WIN MAJOR AWARDS
AT MARLIN AWARDS 2017
Joel “Positive” Murray from Trinidad & Tobago has emerged the top winner at this year’s Caribbean Gospel Music Marlin Awards held on Saturday February 25th 2017 at the Myles E.Munroe Diplomat Center in Nassau, Bahamas. Positive won a total of eight (8) Marlin Awards including the evening’s top prizes Song of the Year for “Mighty Healer” and Album of the Year for “Stand and Be Counted”. He has now made Marlin Awards history as the first artist to ever win a total of eight (8) individual awards during an awards ceremony. In addition to Song of the Year and Album of the Year, he also won awards for Calypso/Soca Vocal Performance of the Year-Male (Mighty Healer), Contemporary Recording of the Year for “All Over the World” featuring American gospel singer Jonathan Reynolds, Contemporary Vocal Performance of the Year-Duo/Group for “Scars” featuring V Rose, Packaging of the Year (Stand and Be Counted), Praise & Worship Recording of the Year (Mountain Mover) and Reggae Recording of the Year for “Life the Praises”.
The Bahamas was well represented at the awards as the host country with several well-known artists winning a number of major awards including Bahamian reggae and dancehall gospel recording artist Ramont “Monty G” Green who won awards for Dancehall Recording of the Year for his single “Valley of Evil” and Reggae Hip-Hop Recording of the Year for the track “Shot Ay Fyah” featuring Tiko T. Several other local artists won awards this year including Najie Dunn who took home the award for Music Video of the Year-Duo/Group for “Addiction” featuring Halle and Singer, Producer & CEO of Elevation Music Group Vincent “V Mac” McDonald won the Rock Recording of the Year award for his single “The Declaration” that also featured soloist Jonathan Farrington. Local ensemble Shaback won the award for Junkanoo-Rake & Scrape Recording of the Year for their single “Don’t Wait til the Battle is Over” making this their third overall award. Legendary singer and former front man for The Visionaries, Al Gibson won his first individual award for “Soon”, the title track of his latest CD and well known recording artists Denczil Rolle & Friends won the award for Junkanoo-Rake & Scrape Vocal Performance of the Year for their hit single “Raw Church”. Bahamian songwriter and producer Kem Gardiner who now pastors in the Turks & Caicos Islands also won his first Marlin Award this year for Pop Recording of the Year for his track “No Equal”.
Renowned Caribbean gospel recording artist Sherwin Gardner also walked away with two (2) Marlin Awards this year including Soca Recording of the Year for this massive hit “On the Road” and International Caribbean Recording of the Year for the track “On the Way”, a song recorded and released by American urban gospel recording artist Deitrick Haddon but featured Jamaican gospel dancehall artist DJ Nicholas & Gardner. This will represent the first Marlin Award for Deitrick Haddon. Gardner also saw two other artists that he produced earn awards this year including Romancia Kingston, a native of Antigua & Barbuda and a protégé who won her first ever Marlin Award for Music Video of the Year-Female for her debut single “Hallelujah”. Gardner was also responsible for writing and producing the single “Express Yourself” which earned Barbados gospel music sensation Neesha Woodz her first ever Marlin Award for Calypso/Soca Vocal Performance of the Year-Female.
Woodz who carried the Barbados Flag into the awards was also on hand to accept awards for two first time male winners from her country: Pasquin who won the award for Contemporary Vocal Performance of the Year-Male for his single “Beautiful” and Gozzy who won the Adapted Recording of the Year award for gospel reggae version of the international single “Our God is Greater” along with Hoszia Hinds.
Another two (2) time award winner this year was Reuel Lynch from Trinidad & Tobago who once again won the award for Producer of the Year for two consecutive Marlin Awards (2014 & 2017), making him the first ever individual to do so. Reuel also won an award for Hip/Hop Vocal Performance of the Year for his vocal contribution on the single “Rooftop” performed by hip hop recording artist Terrence Andrews, one of the artists produced by Lynch. There were several additional artists produced by Lynch that also won awards including Jaron Nurse who won the award for Reggae Vocal Performance of the Year-Male for his well-known single “Positive Music” and then there was Marc Isaac who won the Calypso Recording of the Year category for his latest track “Sweeter” and female vocalist Ke Ke Lewis won the award for Contemporary Vocal Performance of the Year-Female for her single “Real Love”. Also from Trinidad & Tobago producer and recording artist Joshua Ali collected his first award for Calypso/Soca Vocal Performance of the Year-Duo/Group for his single “Send the Blessing” that also featured NisaNora & Lanstar Billy.
Artists from the island of St. Martin won two (2) Marlin Awards this year compliments of female gospel singer Roxsy who won the Foreign Language Recording of the Year award for “Necesito” and Shawn J who took home the Music Video of the Year-Male award for the title track of his debut album “Long Road”.
There were several other first time winners including contemporary female recording artist Gabrielle Denae whose win in the category of Inspirational Recording of the Year (Pave the Way) was not only her first but also the first ever Marlin Award for her country, the British Virgin Island of Tortola.
Another first time winner was singer, songwriter and producer Samuel Medas from Guyana who also won the first Marlin Award for his country when he captured the New Artist of the Year award. Medas is now considered the most outstanding new recording artist in Caribbean Gospel.
Several artists from Jamaica also won a number of awards including gospel dancehall legends Papa San & Stitchie who won the DJ Vocal Performance of the Year award for “One Blood” from Papa San’s album of the same title. Veteran gospel female vocalist Carlene Davis won the award for Reggae Vocal Performance of the Year-Female for her adapted version of the praise and worship classic “Anthem” and newcomers Adiel Thomas & Ministry won the Choir/Chorale Recording of the Year award for their single “Jesus in My Heart”. Past Marlin Award winner Eleanor Riley won the Traditional Vocal Performance of the Year award for her rendition of the song “In Spite of the Storm” and Danever Scott featuring Rondell Positive took home the award for Roots Reggae Recording of the Year for their single “Love as You Love”. Also taking home his first Marlin Award this year was established gospel reggae artist Wayne Stoddart who won the Reggae Vocal Performance of the Year-Duo/Group award for “Taking Over” featuring Tamara Brooks and Hip-Hop and Dancehall gospel artists Wingy DaneJah, KD3 & T-Haddy who won their first award for Hip/Hop Recording of the Year for their single “One Love”.
Legendary gospel group D.E.C.I.S.I.O.N out of Freeport Grand, Bahama received the Rev.Arthur Preacher Rolle Life Time Achievement Award and Senior Pastor of the New Mt.Zion Missionary Baptist Church Rev. Alfred Stewart received the 2017 President’s Award. The Legacy Award was presented to three (3) individuals for their outstanding contribution towards the development and advancement of Caribbean Gospel Music including the Founder and President of Bahamas Faith Ministries International the late Dr. Myles Munroe, Founder & CEO of Dunamus Soundz Music Group (DSMG) the late Lavard “Manifest” Parks and Barbados gospel music pioneer the late Joseph Niles. The Caribbean Gospel Music Marlin Awards celebrated its 20th Anniversary during Marlin Awards Weekend 2017 February 23rd to 25th in Nassau, Bahamas. The awards were launched on March 16th 1996 by media executive and radio personality Kevin “Minister K” Harris.