Chevelle Franklyn is pleased to be a recipient of this year’s Iconic Award Gospel Music Artiste, courtesy of Jamaica Reggae Music Industry Association (JaRIA).
“It feels very fulfilling. It’s always a great feeling to be recognised by your own people and I am grateful to God for this award. I actually didn’t expect it. When I found out a couple days ago, I thought: ‘Oh wow, this is nice!’,” she told the Jamaica Observer.
David Keane and the Sunshine Singers are the category’s other recipients. Keane, however, died after suffering a stroke while preaching at a New Year’s Eve service on n December 7, 2014.
The awards ceremony will take place on February 25 at Little Theatre in Kingston.
Franklyn recorded her first single, Here I Am produced by Rohan Harrison, and it was released in her early teens. She recorded Nice and Naughty followed by another single, No Pushover, in 1992 — both produced by Mikey Bennett.
The singer shot to international prominence when she collaborated with Shabba Ranks on his Mr Lover Man track in 1991. In 1997 she got further international exposure when she recorded Dancehall Queen with Beenie Man, for Island Records, the soundtrack of which was used for the equally successful movie of the same name.
She, however, left it all behind when she became a Christian in 1998.
Franklyn implores up-and-coming gospel artistes to seek mentorship from more experienced ones.
“The young artistes need to firstly make sure that this is what God has called them to do, because you will be set up in the worst way and fall hard. It is easy to get lost in the hype and the spotlight if you are not in it, because God called you to do it. They need to pull on people who have actually been somewhere and has a lot of experience… pull on the Papa San, the Judy Mowatt, and Junior Tucker for sound advice. I am always open to offer mentorship and advice to those who need it,” Franklyn said.
Other JaRIA award recipients include Eric “Monty” Morris, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Trombonist Vin Gordon and drummer Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace are to be lauded for their Exceptional Contribution to the Reggae Industry.
Alvin “GG” Ranglin and Philip “Fatis” Burrell (posthumously) are acknowledged similarly for their work as producers, so too the veteran roots group, Israel Vibration.
Two other persons will be rewarded posthumously. They are Lee Gopthal, a co-founder of British label Trojan Records, and Michael “Mikey Faith” Gordon-Martin, owner of the Empire Faith sound system.
The Ray Symbolic sound system, a contemporary of Emperor Faith, is also being honoured.
Musician/producer Wycliffe “Steely” Johnson and deejay Rexton “Shabba Ranks” Gordon, who played major roles in dancehall’s emergence as an international force during the 1990s, will also be recognised for their contribution.
Saxophonist Dean Fraser has been cited for Extraordinary Impact on the Reggae Industry as a mentor to many artistes. Ernest Hoo Kim of Channel One studio fame, and Collin “Bulby” York will receive awards for their work as engineers.
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