The International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) on Tuesday evening unveiled the nominees for the 39th staging of the ceremony. Unlike previous years, the event was virtual, and streamed live on the award’s website.

The virtual conference was hosted by multi-IRAWMA and Grammy winner Gramps Morgan, who himself picked up four nominations this year.

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Buju Banton dominated the award ceremonoy with a very respectable 11 nominations. Buju is amongst finalists in the categories: Peter Tosh Award for Recording Artiste of the Year; Emperor of Reggae and World Music – Bob Marley Award for Entertainer of the Year; Gregory Isaacs Award for Best Song — Blessed; Toots Hibbert Award for Best Album/CD, Upside Down; U-Roy Award for Best Male Dancehall/Rap Artiste; Virtual Entertainer of the Year; Best Dancehall Stagecraft Entertainer; Best Collaborated Song — Trust, Buju Banton and Tory Lanez; Best Music Video — Blessed; Best Caribbean Entertainer; and the Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award.

Among the artistes with multiple nominations for the 2020 eligibility period, which ran from January to December, are Bounty Killer, Popcaan and Koffee with six each; Skip Marley and Beenie Man with five apiece; Gramps Morgan and Tarrus Riley with four; and Sean Paul, Shenseea and Russian with three each.

Voting by fans opened immediately following Tuesday’s press conference. The organisers urge voters to consider the social relevance of materials, originality and sales; the scope of local and national performances; the quality of their performances and stage appearances when making their choices. The full list of nominees is published on

This virtual IRAWMA will be broadcast from Jamaica on Sunday, May 2. This year’s theme is ‘Reggae & World Music Still Rise’.

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