Music producer Patrick Roberts is urging various music entities to enlighten their members about the selection criteria for national awards and honors.
Having been honored with the Order of Distinction, Officer class, in 2019, Roberts has observed that annual discussions arise when the award recipients are announced. Debates often focus on who should have been recognized and who perhaps should not have been.
Roberts highlighted that many of these disputes stem from a simple “lack of education.” He emphasized, “To receive awards like the Order of Distinction, Badge of Honour, or Gallantry, individuals have to be nominated. Nominations typically start on January 1 and end by late March. These nominations, complete with a biography or profile of the nominee, provide reasons why the person is deserving.”
Roberts added that having multiple nominations from different individuals or organizations can be beneficial. He expressed concern over the music industry’s general lack of involvement, especially among dancehall enthusiasts.
He said, “Rather than complain about the Grammys or national awards, we should be proactive. Observations are made about dancehall being sidelined because it’s not widely accepted. Yet, how often do gospel artists or legacy producers receive these honors? Thankfully, recipients are now recognized while still alive, a shift from the past where posthumous recognitions seemed common.”
Roberts feels artists like Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, and Capleton have been unjustly missed. “Celebrating 61 years of independence, these artists, with over 30 years of dedication, should be acknowledged. Their continued relevance is commendable,” he remarked.
Although unsure if these artists had ever been nominated, Roberts mentioned that it would be unfortunate if past controversies affected their chances of receiving such honors.
While Roberts hasn’t previously nominated anyone, he’s committed to nominating the aforementioned trio in 2024.
For 2023, thirteen individuals from music, arts, and culture fields were nominated. In the entertainment category, awardees include Marcia Griffiths, set to receive the Order of Jamaica, and Owen Gray, Tarrus Riley, and Wayne Marshall – all of whom Roberts extended his congratulations to.