It was a case of lucky seven for Ziggy Marley on Sunday when he added another Best Reggae Album Grammy to his collection at the 59th staging of the annual awards ceremony at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Marley got the gong over fellow Jamaicans Sly and Robbie (Reggae For Her — Sly and Robbie Presents Devin Di Dakta and JL) and Raging Fyah ( Everlasting), as well as California band Rebelution ( Falling Into Place), Hawaiian singer J Boog ( Rose Petals), and American band SOJA ( Live in Virginia).
The award, for the album Ziggy Marley, gave the 48-year-old singer his fourth nod in the category as a solo artist. Prior to that he had won in 2007 with Love Is My Religion; in 2014 with Ziggy Marley in Concert, and in 2015 with Fly Rasta.
Making up his record-breaking total are three wins with sibling group The Melody Makers, and one for Best Children’s Album in 2010.
Marley, the oldest son of reggae icon Bob Marley, was delighted with his latest win.
“Give thanks to the @RecordingAcad for the honor, my family, and all the artists keeping #reggae alive and well. LOVE #GRAMMYs #ziggymarley,” he tweeted.
The winning album was released last May by Tuff Gong Worldwide and debuted at number one on the Billboard Reggae Album chart. According to Neilsen SoundScan, it has sold over 13,000 copies to date.
American reggae artistes have regularly outsold their Jamaican counterparts in the United States for the past five years, however.
The trend continues with Rebelution’s Falling Into Place emerging as the most successful reggae album released in 2016 with sales of over 30,000 copies.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States nevertheless honours artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, “without regard to album sales or chart position.”
If any of the three US groups had won, they would have been the first Americans to bag the Best Reggae Album category.
The only non-Jamaicans ever to have won the award are British band Steel Pulse who did so in 1987 with Babylon The Bandit.
The Reggae Grammy awards were established in 1985 when Black Uhuru became the first winner.
Ziggy Marley was previously tied with his brother Stephen, who also had six wins (three times as a member of The Melody Makers). Bunny Wailer has received the award three times, and two-time recipients include Burning Spear, Damian Marley, and Shabba Ranks.
Morgan Heritage won last year’s Best Reggae Album Grammy with Strictly Roots.