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The best of Barbados

Lil Rick dominated the eighth annual BMAs.

by Emmanuel Joseph

Overseas-based singing sensation Rihanna and local star Li’l Rick dominated last night’s eighth annual Barbados Music Awards at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Before an appreciative audience that included Cissi Houston, mother of the late music icon, Whitney Houston, it was announced that Rihanna had won five awards — Female Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Music Video of the Year and Pop/Rock/Alternative/Country Artist of the Year. Rihanna was not present.

On the other hand, the very popular home based act, Li’l Rick, walked up to the stage four times to be presented with honours for Male Entertainer of the Year, Song Writer of the Year, Soca/Calypso Artist of the Year and Lifetime Achievement special award.

It would appear that this year, the current economic downturn had forced the organisers of the BMAs to significantly cut back on spending, considering that the event was held at a smaller venue and instead of the usual prestigious looking trophies, certificates and gift baskets of skin care items, compliments Earth Mothers Botanicals, were given out.

Other acts receiving these were A Few Good Men for Gospel Band of the Year; internationally-acclaimed Cover Drive — Band of the Year; Malissa Alanna — Best New Artist; Dwaine Antrobus — Producer of the Year; CiCi — Jazz Artist of the Year; Hal Linton — Soul/R&B Artist of the Year; solo act Vizion — Rap/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year; Buggy — Reggae Artist of the Year and Empress Roli — the inaugural People’s Choice Social Media Award.

The audience was also treated to memorable performances by A Few Good Men, Cover Drive and a highly talented cast of Barbadian singers who were joined on stage by the dynamic Cissy Houston, as part of a special musical tribute to Whitney.†In fact, at the end of that tribute, Cissy and the cast were given a standing ovation.

She was also presented with an International Award of Excellence and a postumous International Icon Award on behalf of her daughter.

As she reflected on the death of Whitney, the still grieving mom, fought back the tears, and kept her comments brief, saying: “I don’t want to talk about it too much. She was a really sweet person, she was. I miss her very much.”

Because of problems with her feet, she had to sit on a chair on stage to perform and converse with the attentive patrons. She thanked Barbadians for the love they had showered on her daughter over the years.

Honours were also bestowed on people who had made exceptional contributions to the music industry and had also left an indelible mark on it. Among them were veteran gospel singer Sister Margreta Marshall, who received the Living Legend Award; postumous Awards of Merit to musical luminaries Mike Wilkinson and Norma Stoute and Cornerstone Awards to producers Dwaine Antrobus, Andrew Denny, Tony Lowhar and Darron Grant; along with music educators Joy Knight and Dr. Michael Andrew Clarke; organist Dr. Sean Jackson; journalist/music promoter Emmanuel Joseph and entertainment journalist, Yvette Best.

Emmanuel Joseph receiving his award.

Awards of Excellence also went to Manager of Cover Drive, Kerrie Thomas-Armstrong and overseas-based Barbadian singer and dancer Ricky Stoute.

Last night’s event was also attended by globally influential music executives from Canada, the US and as far away as Austria and Germany.†††††

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