Reggae Grammy Doesn’t Influence Chart Position

MOST Reggae Grammy winners of the decade didn’t get a boost in the charts, like their pop counterparts, following the US-based award show.

Only three of the 10 winners since 2000 saw increased chart success of the winning album, according to Observer analysis of Billboard data.

STEPHEN MARLEY: Mind Control jumped three spots from five following its Grammy win.
STEPHEN MARLEY: Mind Control jumped three spots from five following its Grammy win.

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These included Mind Control by Stephen Marley, which jumped three spots from five, following the 50th Grammys on February 10, 2008;

Half-Way-Tree by Damian M a r l e y, which had the highest jump of that week, from six to five, following the 44th Grammys; and Jah is Real by Burning Spear, which had the second highest jump of that week allowing it to re-enter the charts at number 11, following the 42nd Grammys.

Other Reggae Grammy-winning albums of the decade either fell or maintained the same chart position. The Observer analysed the winning album chart positions two weeks prior and four weeks following the awards. Increased chart success would have indicated increased sales as the charts represent ranked weekly sales by Nielson Soundscan, a private company which compiles sales data in North America.

Soundscan statistics were not readily available for this article as they are subscriber-based.

The Reggae Grammys are not broadcast on-air and insiders say this robs exposure to reggae artistes.

Artiste manager and producer Jeremy Harding argued that the industry also lacks the infrastructure of radio-play to take advantage of the Grammys.

“Even if the award was broadcast live it wouldn’t increase sales because reggae lacks radio play; it is useless unless you get radio play,” stated Harding, who manages Grammy-winning artiste Sean Paul. “Reggae has New York and Miami as markets and you need 15 to 20 markets to even make a difference.”

The latest Grammy winner, Stephen Marley for Mind Control Acoustic on January 31 this year, would not see an uptick on Billboard as that album was released in a digital-only version. Following this year’s Grammys, Billboard reported on its sister news site that there was a sales surge for “winners and performers like Pink, Lady GaGa, the Black Eyed Peas, Taylor Swift, Zac Brown Band, Beyoncé, Kings of Leon and Dave Matthews Band”. For instance, Pink’s Funhouse jumped 46 positions to Number 15, selling 31,000 an increase of 234 per cent, even though it was released 67 weeks ago.

Reggae Grammy winners since 2000 that did increase chart position included:

• Calling Rastafari by Burning Spear did not chart in the top 10 during the review period of the 42nd Grammy Awards;

• Beenie Man’s Art and Life ranked number one, two weeks prior to the 43rd Grammys, charted at number two following the award show;

• Jamaican ET by Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry did not chart in top 10 during the review period of the 45th Grammys;

• Dutty Rock by Sean Paul was number one prior to the 46th Grammys until two weeks following the show when it was bumped by 50 First Dates, a debut soundtrack album;

• True Love by Toots & the Maytals (which charted for 30 weeks on the reggae charts — the longest charting Toots & Maytals album) did not chart during the review period nor re-enter following the 47th Grammys;

• Welcome to Jamrock by Damian Marley did not fluctuate its chart position during the review period of the 48th Grammys but remained at number three; and

• Love is My Religion by Ziggy Marley did not chart during the review period of the 50th Grammys.

JamaicaObserver

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