Ernie Smith, Big Youth get US congressional proclamation

NEW YORK — Veteran Jamaican Reggae artistes Ernie Smith and Big Youth were each awarded a congressional proclamation in recognition of their contributions to the development of Reggae music, during the salute to reggae culture show here Saturday night.

United States congresswoman Yvette Clarke who both read and made the presentation to the duo, also presented both men with certificates of recognition from New York’s Governor, David Patterson.

In addition, Smith who is celebrating 43 years as a singer/songwriter was awarded this year’s Pinacle Award, by the Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music (CPR).

Backed by the Anthem band, the two headed a cast of Jamaican reggae artistes as well as Japanese DJ Nahki, who performed at the annual salute to reggae culture show in Brooklyn.

In the citation which accompanied the proclamations, Congresswoman Clarke lauded the two entertainers for their “pioneering work in developing and spreading the music beyond the shores of Jamaica”.

She noted that their work has galvanised reggae lovers across the world.

Both Smith, who was born Glenroy Anthony Smith, and Big Youth, whose given name is Manley Augustus Buchanan proceeded to give performances, which elicited encores from the large and appreciative crowed.

Showing little signs of age, Big Youth and Smith did many of the hits that catapulted them to the apex of their careers.

Saturday night’s salute to reggae culture also paid tribute to the late reggae artistes Dennis Brown, Sugar Minott and Gregory Issacs.

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