Reggae legend Beres Hammond to be bestowed with honorary degree from UWI

Reggae legend Beres Hammond is set to be honored with an honorary degree by The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus, in their Class of 2023 graduation festivities.

Hammond joins an illustrious group of 14 distinguished personalities who will be celebrated. This list features notables such as Professor E. Dale Abel, the late Lascelles A. Chin, Rachel Manley, and Audrey Patrice Marks.

A slew of entertainers across the Caribbean will also be celebrated, including Sir Leroy ‘King Short Shirt’ Emanuel at Five Islands, Alison Hinds at Cave Hill, and Baroness Floella Benjamin, Lawrence Scott, and Heather Headley at St Augustine.

The degree distribution ceremonies are scheduled from October 7 to November 11.

Born Hugh Beresford Hammond in 1955, Hammond stands as one of Jamaica’s most iconic vocalists and composers. With a career spanning over fifty years, he’s gifted fans with an array of hits. From the early days with Zap Pow to his 1976 classic ‘Soul Reggae’ and the 1985 dancehall gem ‘What One Dance Can Do’.

The 1990s elevated Hammond’s fame, with hits such as ‘Tempted To Touch’ and ‘Who Say’ with Buju Banton remaining dancehall staples. Songs like ‘Putting Up Resistance’ and ‘Come Back Home’ cemented his status in the music world.

In the early ’90s, Hammond ventured into the trend of home studios, providing him the creative freedom he cherished. While many artists’ move to self-production led to varying results, Hammond’s studio became a hub for Jamaica’s musical elite.

His work hasn’t gone unnoticed. His ‘Music Is Life’ album was a contender for the 2001 Best Reggae Album Grammy, featuring hits like ‘Rock Away’ and ‘They Gonna Talk’. He was once again in the Grammy limelight in 2013 for ‘One Love, One Life’.

For his outstanding dedication to Jamaica’s music scene, Hammond was graced with the Order of Jamaica in 2013.