After demolishing Vybz Kartel in album sales on their respective albums that were both released on the same day, Buju Banton turned his attention to the 2020 Jamaican Festival song competition.
In the festival competition, however, Buju wasn’t just going up against one competitor. He was in a field that started with over 250 entrants and then a group of ten finalists which included the great Freddie McGregor and Papa Michigan from the legendary dancehall duo, Michigan and Smiley.
Buju Banton earned 3 million JMD for winning the competition but made it clear that his winning would be used to benefit his charity.
“The true winner tonight is the Sunbeam Boys’ Home,” Buju said, while collecting his check.
Other favourites were Nazzleman and Freddie McGregor, but neither made it to make the top three.
This year’s winners were decided by public vote and the competition staged as a virtual event because of the COVID-19.
Entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange said she was satisfied to see the renewed interest, enthusiasm and display of patriotism.
“The success has provided us with the perfect springboard to soar to even greater heights,” said Grange.
Earlier this year, she had revealed that the event was being rebranded to make it more attractive and to return it to its former glory.
The Festival Song Competition in Jamaica began in 1966 and was conceptualised to give Jamaicans a feel-good vibe at Independence time.
The winning Jamaica Festival Song is meant to be on the lips of every man, woman and child and a call to action at home and in the Diaspora.
The winning song is also meant to be the backdrop of the Jamaica Festival Independence celebrations.
Among the big winners in the past are: Toots and the Maytals, Eric Donaldson, Hopeton Lewis, Roy Rayon, Tinga Stewart and Nazzleman.