Wayne Wonder On His Relationship With Buju Banton: “I guess we grew apart”

Buju Wayne
Buju Banton & Wayne Wonder performing in Jamaica

Wayne Wonder is opening up about his strained relationship with Buju Banton.

The reggae crooner admitted that the relationship is just “not the same” as it was. Wayne Wonder sat down with DJ Kash on his podcast where he shared his feelings on the state of his relationship with reggae/dancehall legend Buju Banton, who he was once close friends with. The “No Letting Go” singer opened up about where things currently stand between the two, which he described as “grew apart.”

Wayne Wonder has been credited as being instrumental in helping the “Til Shiloh” artiste get his big break back in the early 1990s and is reportedly the one who took Buju Banton on stage during his 1991 performance at Sting, which was dubbed “the greatest one-night reggae show on earth.”

That informal introduction to such a large audience at a premier internationally recognized event is believed to be the “Champion” entertainer’s coming out party. Banton made full use of the opportunity as he ran with it, afterward releasing a string of hits that almost always charted at the number one position and the rest, as they say, is history. Over the years, the duo has performed countless times together at stage shows such as Sting and Reggae Sunsplash. They also collaborated on several hit songs, including “Lonely,” “I Dunno Why,” and “Hey Lorna.”

During the podcast sit-down, Wonder, who was born Von Wayne Charles, said that while he has no animosity towards Banton, it is sad that they seem to have grown apart. Wayne shared that he did “feel a way” when Buju remained silent and did not personally call him to perform at his first major concert. Instead, he had someone else make the call.

“Right now since he came out in that first segment, me give him his space to let him get back used to the thing, but I’m being honest, it’s not the same. Even with the show, memba sey a me mek (Donovan) Jermaine know Buju ennuh. Zeen. So with the show, Jermaine was calling me about the show [Long Walk To Freedom Concert] and me haffi sey ‘Jermaine memba sey a me used to carry Buju come a Penthouse cuz you didn’t even know who Buju was, so tell Buju fi call me himself man’,” he stated.

“So that’s how him called me and me make the appearance on the show,” Wonder said. The Jamaican singer said the two tried to mend fences after Buju Banton came home from prison but that didn’t work. “To each his own and I guess we grew apart,” he said.

At the 2019 United Festival in Bermuda, Wayne Wonder was scheduled to perform alongside Buju Banton. However, patrons were later informed that Wayne Wonder could not be there “due to circumstances beyond their control.”