Thousands of fans of reggae superstar Buju Banton is expected to turn out for next weekend’s Benefit concert at the Supa D Tropical Bar & Grill in Tampa, Florida.
The concert was organized to support the embattled reggae star with his mounting legal expenses.
Buju Banton is currently serving a 10-year sentence in a Texas prison after he was convicted earlier this year on three counts of drug charges.
The lineup for the event includes some of reggae and dancehall most recognize names, Delly Ranx, Gramps Morgan, Nadine Sutherland, Glen Washington and Norris Man among others.
Patrons attending the show will be asked to make a US$20 donation for the cause as organizers hope to make at least US$50,000 from the concert to help the singer with his legal expenses.
Buju Banton release a statement to the media through his legal team, urging fans to go out and support the event.
“I, Mark Myrie – aka Buju Banton, support and deem the concert being organized by Taranee Jiles to be a legitimate undertaking in order to raise funds for my legal defense and pending appeal. Your kind support will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance,” the statement read.
Taranee Jiles, a long-time friend of Buju Banton and main organizer of the event, said the idea to help the incarcerated singer breed out of a life long friendship and desire to see him walk free.
“Mark is my friend and nobody was doing anything to help him, everybody was just talking, but nobody was acting,” Jiles said. “With Buju’s blessings, I decided to do a benefits concert for him. Ran the idea also by his fellow artists and some other supporters, who all thought this was a good idea.”
According to Jiles, the concert not only raises awareness that Buju needs supports in his toughest hour but raises his already iconic stature to new heights given what his music provided for fans worldwide.
“We are our brother’s keeper! Buju’s music is uplifting and has touched people’s hearts in Jamaica as well as the rest of the world; proof of that is his recent Grammy win. Buju’s physical presence is surely missed,” Jiles said.
“His fellow artists come together in unity to aid this cause. It is time for the people to give back and uplift him now. It will give him the opportunity to defend himself. The concert will help uplift him and assure him, ‘You are not alone; we got your back.’ It proves to the world ‘Solidarity.’”