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  • Writer's pictureThe Blue Beat Label

Owen Gray receives Lifetime Achievement Award at JaRIA Honour Awards 2021.

Everdene introduced Owen's award.

Owen Gray's Lifetime Achievement EP to be released later this month.

On Sunday (July 4th), Owen' Gray’s life-long work in the music industry and outstanding contributions were recognised at the JaRAI Honour Awards 2021. Owen was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Originally scheduled for February 28 as the distinguished concluding event of Jamaica's officially designated Reggae Month, The JaRIA Honour Awards were delayed due to measures implemented to protect the production team and participants from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rescheduled July 4 date coincided with the partial reopening of Jamaica's entertainment sector on July 1, as announced by Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Musicians, singers, producers, engineers, deejays, sound system operators and media personalities were among this year's 27 honorees.

Heading the list of awardees Owen Gray received this year's Lifetime Achievement Award.

The event was hosted by Jamaica's frontline workers including nurses, street vendors, taxi drivers, supermarket clerks and others who have provided the many essential services that kept Jamaican society functioning during the lockdown period.

“It is very important to host the JaRIA Honour Awards at this time when the entertainment industry is being given a chance to breathe after 16 months of lockdown because Jamaicans and all lovers of reggae need to understand the importance of celebrating ourselves and the unsung heroes that we sometimes take for granted,” said JaRIA Chairman Ewan Simpson.

Owen Gray's Lifetime Achievement award was introduced by frontline worker Everdene.

Owen Gray has dedicated a lifetime to music. He won his first talent contest at the age of nine and by the age of twelve, he was already appearing in public playing drums, guitar and keyboards. He attended the Alpha Boys School and turned professional at age nineteen. Owen Gray emigrated to the UK in 1962 following the success of his single "Please Let Me Go". He was one of the first artists to be produced by Chris Blackwell in 1960 and his "Patricia" single was the first record ever released by Island Records. Owen worked with almost all the producers of note from Sir Coxsone Dodd, Prince Buster, Sydney Crooks, Arthur "Duke" Reid, Leslie Kong and Clancy Eccles, including work as a duo with Millie Small with songs ranging from ska to ballads. Working with producer Bunny Lee Owen Gray achieved a considerable success, he has continued to release new material regularly often concentrating on ballads and gospel music.

Owen Gray was among the first handful of Jamaican artists to capture international attention when he migrated to England in 1962. Owen had many releases on The Blue Beat Label in those early days and over the years, most recently last year on The Blue Beat Label 60 Year Celebration Album which featured Owen's classic track "Call Me My Pet". At the time Owen said, "It is great to see this celebration album being released". "Call Me My Pet" was originally released on The Blue Beat Label in 1963.

"Accepting his award Owen Gray said " Thanks for giving me this award and I am very privileged for you all to do so from the Jamaica music industry" Owen also said "I am so sorry I cannot be there to receive it in person but hey who knows, God knows best Owen Gray knows the rest, and I want to thanks all the people that have organised and presenting this award to me. I am grateful, and I want to say to Jamaica stay safe, be good like you know you should, thank you very much"

All at The Blue Beat Label are thrilled that Owen has received this richly deserved lifetime achievement award and recognition. Big congratulations and love to Owen. To coincide with Owen receiving this Lifetime Achievement Award The Blue Beat Label is releasing Owen Gray "The Lifetime Achievement EP" on Friday, July 23rd.

See the tracklist for Owen Gray's Lifetime Achievement Award EP below.

1. 'See Baby Tonight' 2. 'Call Me My Pet' 3. 'The Days I'm Living'

Pre-order and pre-save will be available soon.


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