Judge approves company for Buju’s security but…

UNITED STATES Magistrate Anthony Porcelli yesterday approved a security company that Jamaican Reggae star Buju Banton has expressed an interest in contracting to provide him with 24-hour security as part of his bail condition.

Porcelli has also approved the $350,000 Miami property put up by Stephen Marley, the son of Reggae legend Bob Marley, as collateral for Banton’s bond.


But despite the development in the Sam M Gibbons federal court, Banton will have to remain in jail as the prosecution will be appealing Porcelli’s decision to approve the security company the Jamaican artiste wants to hire to ensure he sticks to the previous conditions of his house arrest.

The prosecution has five days to file its appeal.

Banton’s lead attorney, David Oscar Markus, was yesterday livid at what he said was the repeated attempts by Prosecutor James Preston to keep his client behind bars.

“The Government’s dogged attempt to keep Buju behind bars is disheartening,” Markus told the Observer.

Banton has been in jail since last December, following his arrest at his Tamarac South Florida home. He was granted $250,000 bail earlier this month after a panel of 12 jurors failed to reach a verdict in his drug and weapon trial in September.

As part of his bail condition, Banton, whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie, will be placed under house arrest and will be required to wear a tracking device, pending the outcome of his retrial in December.

If released, Banton will have to remain at home other than when he wants to purchase medication, see his attorney or attend court.

Yesterday, attorney Marc Seitles, who handled the hearing on Banton’s behalf, was delighted at the outcome.

“We achieved a bond today and we are happy that Judge Porcelli reaffirmed that Buju is entitled to be released on bond,” said Seitles.

If Banton successfully beats back the appeal, he will have to seek another bond in the immigration court as his entertainment visa was revoked upon his arrest.

Jamaica Observer

Stephen Marley puts up his house for Buju

Stephen Marley has proven that he is truly a friend in deed.

The son of Reggae king Bob Marley, has put up his Miami Dade house for bond in an effort to secure his friend Buju Banton’s release from the Pinellas County Jail.


Continue reading

Day 2 Stephen Marley testifies on Buju Banton’s behalf

Stephen Marley

Image by The J Train via Flickr

TAMPA, Florida — Reggae star Buju Banton denied being a drug dealer when he took the stand during his drug trial in the Gibbons US Court here this afternoon.

Banton said he was “talking crap” during the conversation with Alexander Johnson, the prosecution’s main witness, on a flight they shared from Madrid to Miami. He said the incident has caused him and his family indescribable pain. Continue reading

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.


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. Continue reading

Stephen Marley Takes Reggae Grammy Award

Stephen Marley, Ziggy Marley

Stephen Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley, is the 2010 winner of the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album. Marley’s album, Mind Control (Acoustic Version), is a digital-only follow-up to his 2007 Grammy-winning solo debut, Mind Control. This is the seventh time Stephen is claiming a Grammy.

In the meantime, Bob Marley was well represented at the awards, as his eldest son, 41-year-old Ziggy Marley, picked up the fifth Grammy of his career, this time in the children’s musical album category for his all-star project, Family Time.

Jamaica Gleaner

Top 25 Reggae Albums of the Decade


The top 25 reggae albums for this decade — which ends December — was dominated by Shaggy but other dancehall artistes ranked highly, according to a list compiled by Splash.

Topping the list was Shaggy’s 2000 release Hot Shots which sold over ten million copies and was amongst the most sucessful albums of the decade. Matisyahu was second, but he also made the top 25 three times. Shaggy, Sean Paul, Sizzla, Beenie Man, UB40 and Damian Marley each made the list twice.

Music rankings are always controversial but Splash arrived at the findings, not by public opinion, but by analysing Billboard Reggae Album charts between 2000 to 2009 and ranked albums in order of weeks charted. Chart longevity indicated that the albums were not only popular but had that timeless quality as sales continued well beyond their release dates. Continue reading

2010 Reggae Grammy Nominees


The 2010 reggae nominees are below… Please vote to let us know who you think should win the the Grammy for Reggae Album of the year…