Jamaican Music

Photo Highlights: Celebrities, Fans & Supporters Came Out In Droves For Buju Banton’s Musical Extravaganza At Jamaica’s National Stadium

On March 16th, 2019 the National Stadium in Jamaica’s capital city of Kingston was a place like no other, as it was filled to the brim by a sea of humanity that came to witness the return of reggae superstar, Buju Banton, and the kick-off his Long Walk To Freedom Tour.   In the aftermath, Buju’s magnificent comeback concert in his native homeland is being hailed as legendary.

Born Mark Myrie in the gritty Kingston community of Salt Lane, Buju Banton rose to prominence in the 1990s with a slew of timeless hits that garnered him the moniker, ‘Mr. Mention’, which was also the title of one of his most successful albums.  In fact, Buju’s ‘Mr. Mention’ album eclipsed the record for # 1 singles in Jamaica, previously held by the King of Reggae, Bob Marley.  Buju’s career then continued to steadily progress to the point where he was widely regarded as one of the most significant and influential reggae artists in the Jamaican music industry as well worldwide.    And during that time, Buju of course collaborated with many top notch artists in the reggae, dancehall, and hip hop genres.   From a reggae music industry vantage point, legends like Beres Hammond, Wayne Wonder, Cocoa Tea and the late Garnett Silk come to mind in terms of the classic hits they recorded with Banton .  However, in 2011 Buju Banton’s career sank to a nadir upon being convicted on drug-related charges in the United States for which he was incarcerated until December 2018, whereupon he returned home to Jamaica immediately after his release.

As it happened, Buju’s much anticipated concert was an epic one that will certainly be cemented in the annals of Jamaican history.    What’s more, the massive event was star-studded in terms of not only the line-up of artists that performed alongside Buju during the show, but also backstage where an A-list of his supporters—including celebrities, reggae and dancehall legends, icons, and Jamaican government officials—were on hand to revel in the excitement surrounding such a once in a lifetime reggae music concert in its original birthplace.  As the images below go to show, it  was certainly a breathtaking sight backstage as numerous celebrities were spotted casually milling about amid the musical extravaganza surrounding Buju Banton’s ceremonious return to the concert stage in Jamaica  in a grand display of pomp and circumstance.  And fittingly, a good way to describe Buju Banton’s triumphant stage performance is to say that he ‘Walked like a Champion’.

Buju Banton fans having a little fun before show time


Wayne Wonder – reggae & dancehall singer


Tony Rebel – reggae singer and organizer of the annual Rebel Salute concert in Jamaica


Lisa Hanna – Jamaican politician (member of Parliament) and former Miss World 1993


Delly Ranks (right) – dancehall artist, and Hon. Olivia “Babsy” Grange – Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport


Mutabaruka – Jamaican rastafarian dub poet, musician, actor, and educator


Tarrus Riley – reggae singer and son of the late reggae legend, Jimmy Riley


Marcia Griffiths – legendary reggae songtress and member of Bob’s Marley’s “I-Threes” harmony singing group


Protoje – roots revival reggae singer


Beenie Man – dancehall legend, and Machel Montano – Trinidadian soca icon


Kees from Kes the Band — Trinidadian soca superstar


Sean Paul – dancehall artist


Romain Virgo – reggae singer


Steff London – U.K. dancehall artist & singer, and Lisa Hanna – Jamaican politician and member of Parliament


Rastafarian supporters of Buju Banton


Lexxus “Mr. Lexx” – dancehall artist


Cocoa Tea – legendary reggae singer, and Koffee – new reggae singing sensation


Selector from Jamaica’s popular Chromatic Sound – a five member dancehall soundsystem crew


“Big Belly Sky Juice” (at left) – legendary selector from Jamaica’s Famous Metro Media soundsystem

Bobby Konders – longtime DJ and radio personality from New York City’s Hot 97 radio station


Jabba – longtime DJ and radio personality from New York City’s Hot 97 radio station


Kiprich – veteran dancehall artist


Wicker Man – veteran dancehall artist


Wayne Marshall – reggae & dancehall singer


Singing Melody (far left) – reggae singer


Stacious – dancehall artist


Konshens – dancehall artist


Jahmiel – dancehall artist


Chris Martin – reggae and dancehall Singing Sensation


Nyanda Thorbourne – member of Brick & Lace, Jamaican dancehall/R&B musical duo


Gramps Morgan – member of reggae group, morgan heritage


Aidonia – dancehall artist


Shyne – Belizean rapper, famous for Bad Boyz song collaboration with Barrington Levy


Buju Banton fans enjoying the show


Buju Banton fans enjoying the show


Dean Fraser – iconic & legendary reggae saxophonist


Denroy Morgan (Patriarch of the Morgan Heritage Reggae Family) and Son, Laza


Crowd of fans and supporters on hand at the National Stadium for Buju Banton’s performance

About the author

Nick Ford