Icon singer/rapper Lauryn Hill, Deniece Williams and R&B star Ne-Yo will headline this year’s staging of the annual Shaggy and Friends benefit concert.

The mega concert, Shaggy and Friends 2011, will take place on the lawns of Jamaica House on Friday, December 30.

The annual concert is organised by internationally acclaimed reggae superstar Shaggy, to raise funds in aid of the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston. To date, the Shaggy and Friends Make A Difference foundation have raised a total of J$57,000,000.

Some artistes already pledge their support for the show includes Stephen Marley, Chino, Romain Virgo, Assassin aka Agent Sasco, Half Pint, Wayne Marshall, Tami Chynn, Cocoa Tea and soca’s first couple Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons from Trinidad.

“Ne-Yo was a real no-brainer, once I mentioned it, he was on board. Lauryn Hill and I were on tour in Australia two months ago and we began discussing it then. Deniece Williams is also excited about performing for Jamaicans,” Shaggy said at the event launch.

This year’s concert proceeds will help to furnish the new cardiac centre and intensive care unit at the island’s lone paediatric hospital. The Shaggy Foundation will work in partnership with Chain of Hope, a group of volunteer doctors and nurses who perform surgeries each year on Jamaica’s children with heart disease.

Shaggy’s involvement with the Bustamante Hospital for Children started 10 years ago, when he visited a friend’s son who had been admitted there. Moved by the needs of the institution, the Diamond-selling artiste made a resolve to support them in any possible way. He launched the Shaggy and Friends concert in 2009 with overwhelming support from local artistes and fans.

This year there will be three ticket levels… Platinum, $25,000; Gold, $10,000 and Silver $5,000.

Corporate Jamaica has also stepped in to make substantial contribution with three major sponsors handed over their financial contributions towards the staging of the event at yesterday’s launch. Scotiabank contributed $5 million, KFC presented a cheque for $1 million, while LIME committed $7.7 million towards the cause.