|Evolution of the IRAWMA trophies over the years|
Other nominees include Damian "Jr Gong" Marley, Chronixx, Beres Hammond, Beenie Man, and jailed deejay Vybz Kartel, the latter continuing to hold a prominent place of appreciation in the minds of dancehall fans.
Dub poet and radio host Mutabaruka will Receive a Special Lifetime Achievement Award, while the late Bob Marley will be named "Emperor of Reggae" and Chicago-based former U.S. Presidential candidate Rev Jesse Jackson will be honoured as a Freedom Fighter and Jamaica's Minister of Culture Entertainment Gender and Sport, Olivia "Babsy" Grange will be named Reggae/Jamaica Person of the Year. Producer Clifton "Specialist" Dillon, Donald Kinsey, and genre-leading record label, VP records will also be specially honoured.
Awards will be handed out on May 11, at the same venue.
Martin, a photographer with the Gleaner in his early years, was moved to start the awards after the 1980 death of reggae Star Jacob "Killer" Miller, with the first set being given out in 1982. His company, Marin's International also presents The Chicago Music Awards, the International Festival of Life and the Jerk Seafood and Vegan (JSV), all held in the U.S.