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Few reggae artistes benefit from a Grammy win

Thirty years after reggae was granted Grammy status, a leading music industry player has mixed views on its impact.

Maxine Stowe, a Jamaican who has worked with Island Records and Sony Music International, believes the benefits of a Best Reggae Album win depends on the artiste’s reputation.

“It does lift the profile in the reggae markets for some winners and is a resume and bio builder,” she said. “Only the winners that are already positioned in the mainstream selling stores would get a sales bump, not any that are just in the ethnic or reggae markets.” Read more

Marijuana no more dangerous than alcohol, says Obama

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama believes smoking marijuana is a “bad habit” but thinks legal penalties now fall disproportionately on minorities and that states legalizing pot should go ahead with their plans, he said in a profile released on Sunday.

“As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life,” he is quoted as saying in a New Yorker magazine article. “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.” Read more

BBC airs reggae special today

FROM as far back as the 1950s, when West Indians migrated in droves to England following World War II, Jamaican music has had an impact on that country.

That impact flourished in the 1960s as ska followed by rocksteady infiltrated British society. The cultural exchange attained higher heights a decade later with the rise of reggae and Bob Marley. The tradition continues today. Read more