It seems that the Caribbean American Heritage (CARAH) Awards has decided to rescind its offer to honor Grammy-award winning artist Buju Banton at their ceremony later this month.
Not much information is available about why they decided to go back on their decision, but they definitely seemed to have a change of heart and told the Jamaica Gleaner officially that: “Our official stance is that talks stalled.” Banton was going to be honored for his outstanding contribution to reggae music at the virtual event on November 20.
Banton’s name was left out from an updated press release issued by CARAH’s community administrator, Sharon Williams, about the ceremony. It is suspected that the decision came after Banton’s strong anti-mask stance, which went viral last October 21. In response to this, the Gleaner was told: “We are in talks with his (Banton’s) management.”
The honor may still be bestowed on him as in a recent update, Williams said that the organization is still committed to working with the Buju Banton’s foundation. There has also been no official word from Banton’s management team. His co-manager Donovan Germain declined to comment when asked if CARAH’s decision to rescind the offer came because of his rant.
Whatever caused the decision, it came in stark contrast to the original sentiments expressed by CARAH’s founding President, Claire Nelson. Banton had proudly displayed parts of the letter on his Instagram page when it was announced. He has since deleted the post indicating that there is some sort of rift between the two.
Part of the letter read: “We view with much respect your longevity in the business, your prolific output, and your impact on the US and global culture scape. We take note of your Grammy-winning discography, as well as your most recent exploration, Upside Down 2020, and the soulful Buried Alive, which is serving as a transformational healing anthem for many around the world at this time of extreme challenge. We especially value your passionate and compassionate outreach to and investment in the youth in Jamaica through your Buju Banton Foundation.”
According to the new press release names three Jamaican honourees, namely, Don Wehby, group chief executive officer, GraceKennedy Limited, Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and veteran reggae singer Judy Mowatt will be honored at the event.