The Gleaner: KINGSTON, Jamaica, By Yasmine Peru – King of the Dancehall, Beenie Man, will be represented by his manager at this Sunday’s Grammy Awards ceremony in the United States as the dancehall icon’s ongoing visa woes prohibit him from travelling.

Beenie Man’s album Simma is one of five nominees in the Best Reggae Album category. Shawn Baptiste of CIGA Records will represent the artiste at the event at the Arena in Los Angeles. CIGA Records was involved in the production of Simma.

“Beenie Man would love to be there but, because of certain situations, he is unable to …we all know how life is sometimes. He has previously won and remains honoured to be named among the list of nominees for this year and wants to big up all of them because he says, everyone nominated, they are all winners. He will soon step foot back in America,” Baptiste told The Gleaner.

The other nominees are: Buju Banton’s Born for Greatness; Collie Buddz’s Cali Roots Riddim 2023No Destroyer by Burning Spear; and Julian Marley and Antaeus’ Colors of Royal.

It has been more than a decade since Beenie Man had his visa revoked by the US Embassy. In an interview with THE STAR last March, Baptiste shared that his team was working on getting the visa restored. CIGA Records and its lawyers were reportedly having high-level meetings and Beenie Man was quite optimistic. He was even advertised for shows in New York and New Orleans.

CIGA Records’ founder and CEO, Shawn Baptiste.

CIGA Records’ founder and CEO, Shawn Baptiste

Concerning Sunday, Baptiste said he was looking forward to the overall experience and engaging with some of the global music industry professionals.

“I will be there representing for the King of the Dancehall which, in retrospect, means I am representing for the dancehall genre, which is something I believe we need to see more at the Grammys. Because of the genre’s widespread impact on music, film and fashion, it would be great to see more of us doing it for the culture on this platform,” Baptiste, who is a native of St Croix, US Virgin Islands said.

Simma, Beenie’s 17th studio album, and his first project in seven years, was released last August. Baptiste said that while he could not provide numbers, the project is doing well, and “we are all working on the ground to ensure it gets the visibility it deserves”.

In 2001, Beenie Man achieved a great win for dancehall when his Art & Life received the Reggae Grammy, which he collected in person. Baptiste has similar expectations for Simma.

“I believe Beenie has already won it. As the song says ‘one more Grammy fi out inna him room …’ so we jussa ‘Simma’,” Baptiste declared.