'Queens' to be lauded

By Richard Johnson
Observer senior reporter

Thursday, October 11, 2018

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Well-known and behind-the-scenes female contributors to the entertainment industry will be recognised at the third annual Queen of Reggae Island Honorary Ceremonies (QORIHC) scheduled for the Courtleigh Auditorium in St Andrew on October 28.

The list of awardees was unveiled at a media launch in St Andrew on Tuesday night.

The awardees are broadcaster Dorraine Samuels, deejay Spice, disc jockey DJ Sunshine, singer Carlene Davis, make-up artiste Trishana McDonald, Jamaica Observer's Senior Associate Editor — Lifestyle and Social Content Novia McDonald-Whyte, hairstylist Latoya Reid, singer Pam Hall, artiste manager Junie Star, publisher Janet Fagan, fashion designer Patsy Beale of Doris Grace Designs, actress Dorothy Cunningham, entertainment insider Marcia Elliot, and choreographer Dr L'Antoinette Stines.

Stines, artistic director of L'Acadco dance group, heaped praise on awards founder Laurell Nurse for recognising not only women, but women not in the forefront of the entertainment business who play a pivotal role.

“It's not a lot of things we have here in Jamaica that just honour you for your work. But to honour you for what you have done backstage is amazing. For her to take it upon herself to create something like this is a great moment, so I feel very honoured to be among those who are being recognised this year and those who were honoured before. I am so honoured to be thought of as a queen... and if every little girl thought of herself as a queen, there are so many things that wouldn't happen,” she noted.

For Elliot, the award is heartfelt.

“For all the years that I have been in the music industry, and this is about 20-plus years, this is the first time anyone has really recognised me. I am a behind-the-scenes person and so I want to thank QORIHC, because the type of work I do working with a Judy Mowatt and going on different tours and working with a Tony Rebel, I have never gotten this kind of recognition. I really feel elated and thankful. An award like this really boosts you and make you want to do more and spread your wings. When you realise that somebody can recognise you it just gives you that encouragement to do more,” she said.

Hall is also appreciative.

“It's really great to know that people are observing what you are doing, your contribution, and are making real effort to show this appreciation. For me, it just says: 'Gwaan, keep doing what you are doing',” she said. “I'm a sports fan so I consider this award to be the equivalent of the Courtney Walsh Awards — it's for the long-term contributors. Some people don't know some of the persons being recognised, but they play vital roles in the entertainment industry.”

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