After a period of several years, Jamaican dancehall and reggae singjay Buju Banton was finally given his Grammy award. At the 534d staging of the Grammy Awards ceremony on February 13, 2011, Banton was named the winner in the Best Reggae Album category for his “Beyond the Dream” project, a ten-track album produced by Banton’s own Gargamel Music label. It was released in September of 2010 and was his fifth Grammy nomination.
However, at the time, Banton was occupied with a criminal trial on charges of drug trafficking, and it was scheduled to begin the morning after the Grammy ceremony at a court in Tampa, Florida. Banton would ultimately be found guilty of the charges and sentenced to a term in a United States prison. He returned to his home in Jamaica in December 2018 after serving the ten-year sentence, but he only had the chance to actually touch his Golden Gramophone award in January of 2019.
Tracii McGregor, Banton’s long-time business partner, took on the responsibility of guarding the Grammy all this time, and she announced his receipt of the award immediately on social media. after she delivered it to him. In a post that included a photo of Banton holding the trophy, she stated, “I have held it in safekeeping all this time… opening the box on my darkest days… a simple reminder of all we accomplished… Finally, it is in the hands of its rightful owner.” In a later interview, she noted that the event was bittersweet after all this time and that the award was a “huge accomplishment” and “well-deserved.”
Since his return to Jamaica, Banton has kept a low profile, preparing for his first local appearance at the kick-off for his “Long Walk to Freedom” tour at Kingston’s National Stadium on March 16, 2019. Featured performers appearing with him at the show include Chronixx, Etana, Coco Tea, Romain Virgo, Delly Ranx, Ghost, Agent Sasco and LUST, Banton’s son Jahzeil is also scheduled to perform at the event.
Banton was previous Grammy nominations included his 1999 “Inna Heights,” 2004’s “Friends for Life,” “too Bad in 2007, and “Rasta Got Soul” in 2010.
Photo Source: Tracii McGregor