Tue | Jan 31, 2023

Get well soon, Freddie; December burning and stinging; MOBO for Skillibeng

Published:Saturday | December 3, 2022 | 12:08 AMYasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer
Big Ship Captain and veteran entertainer Freddie McGregor is recuperating.
Big Ship Captain and veteran entertainer Freddie McGregor is recuperating.
Burna Boy will perform at the National Stadium on December 18.
Burna Boy will perform at the National Stadium on December 18.
Spice had a  message for her ‘besties’.
Spice had a message for her ‘besties’.
Skillibeng walked away with the Best Caribbean Music MOBO award.
Skillibeng walked away with the Best Caribbean Music MOBO award.
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Shoutout to Big Ship Captain Freddie McGregor, who is recuperating in hospital in Florida, following a reported stroke last Sunday. Several people have confirmed off the record that the Push Come to Shove singer is alert following the emergency that has seen his fans sending up prayers for his speedy and total recovery.

Freddie was scheduled to join British reggae band, UB40, on three dates during their 45th anniversary tour in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The series started yesterday at the 2,000-seat Rock City in Nottingham and ends on December 21 at the OVO Arena in London. However, UB40, in a social media post, informed fans that Freddie would not be joining the band on the arena dates, as previously advertised.

"To all our fans, our good friend Freddie McGregor will not be joining us on our December arena dates in Leeds, Birmingham, and London. We look forward to seeing all the fans and performing with Freddie soon. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements on future dates!Big Love, UB40."

A child star whose career started when he was only seven years old, and was known as 'Little Freddie', the elder statesman has released more than 40 albums during his stellar career. He has received numerous accolades, including the Best Reggae Album nomination at the 45th Grammy Awards for Anything For You; the Institute of Caribbean Studies 2013 Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award; the prestigious Silver Musgrave Award from the Institute of Jamaica, and the 2020 Black History Month meets Reggae Icon Award.

His latest album, A Breath of Fresh Air, exploring themes of unity, peace, love, survival, and perseverance, was produced by the UK-based Sting Ray Records. “The album is ready,” Freddie shared with The Gleaner a few weeks ago. Of the title, he said that while listening to the tracks, he suggested that it “sounded like a breath of fresh air”, and everyone agreed.

Burning and Stinging as the silly season returns

It almost feels like what was once dubbed "the silly season" is making its gleeful return. From now until January 2023, music lovers will have their pick of events. Among those scheduled for this month are Well Encounter on Saturday, December 10, at the National Stadium in Kingston, featuring Marverick City's Grammy-nominated gospel sensations Naomi Raine and Chandler Moore, as well as Kevin Downswell, Minister Carlene Davis, Rondell Positive, and Rhoda Isabella; Nigerian superstar Burna Boy - also at the National Stadium - on December 18 and the return of the greatest one-night reggae show on Earth, Sting, on December 26 at Plantation Cove in St Ann, featuring Jahshii, Skeng, Silk Boss, Versatile, Jahvillani, Etana, Gyptian, Chris Martin, Jada Kingdom, Shaniel Muir, Moyann, Kip Rich, 450, Jahmiel, Shane-O, Dovey Magnum, and more.

And, not to be left out is Stone Love's mega 50th anniversary bashment, which also falls in December.

Then, enter the brand-new year and things get Intimate, with the named event headlined by Beres Hammond and Buju Banton on January 1, 2023 at Grizzly's Plantation Cove, Priory, St Ann, and Rebel Salute, scheduled for January 20 and 21, at the same venue.

....and the MOBO goes to ... Skillibeng

Skillibeng, a four-time MOBO Award nominee, was triumphant last Wednesday when he walked away with the award for Best Caribbean Music Act (formerly Best Reggae Act category) at the event hosted at the OVO Arena in London, England. Skillibeng was also nominated in the Best International Act category, which was won by Afrobeats star Burna Boy.

"Big up MOBO Awards. I represent Jamaica. I'm from a small island where it's very hard and I really appreciate this award. And to everybody that's working hard, believe in yourself, believe in your dreams. Keep doing what you do. Big up to all my team, everybody who supported, everybody who voted," the 25-year-old artiste said during his acceptance speech.

He posted a picture of himself with the award to social media, and among the entertainers congratulating him were Koffee, Tommy Lee Sparta, Blvk H3ro, Rygin King, Lickle Addi, Lila Iké and Spice.

The other nominees in the Best Caribbean Music Act category were Shenseea, Sean Paul, Spice, Koffee, and Popcaan.

Spice posts message to her ' Besties ' on IG

Spice opened the new month with a new message to her fans and a photo in which she looked absolutely fabulous, but, alas, it was an old photo. Here is what the Queen of the Dancehall wote: "I just feel like popping in to say hi ... my Dm is still full with concerns, but I’m ok. How are you guys doing? Are you ready for the holiday? I miss you all so much. Just remember I love you for real in real life. #Live #love #laugh #JesusNeverFailsme #Oldphoto #Emancipated #Queenofdancehall."