While Vybz Kartel might be the most popular entertainer inside the borders of Jamaica, Buju Banton is the most popular Jamaican entertainer worldwide.
Buju Banton is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence and is not due for release until 2018. That is not stopping dancehall and reggae promoters from book the Rasta artists.
In fact, if you are a promoter waiting to book the Til Shiloh singer, you might have to wait until 2021. That is because the demand for Buju Banton is so high he is almost completely booked out until 2020.
With just a year left until his release, Buju Banton’s team says dancehall reggae fans can expect nothing but greatness one he is freed,
Buju’s former manager, Donovan Germain, says Buju is still Jamaica’s most popular entertainer around the world despite some Jamaicans who have never left Jamaica thinking it is Vybz Kartel.
“People calling me left, right and center for Buju to do shows. Wi talking ‘bout the Caribbean, Europe,” said Germain.
“Him jus’ need to come out with another good album and introduce himself to a new generation of fans. Once him do a good album, things should get back to normal,” Germain continued.
Buju, while in prison, also received his Master’s degree in Music Business Management from New York University (NYU). Buju told reporters, “I can do anything I put my mind to; you know that. People who know me know that I am very determined and will achieve my goals despite hardships. I will not allow the system to conquer me.”
Til Shiloh, Buju Banton’s 1995 album, is regarded by critics as one of reggae’s finest. It contains the songs Shiloh, Untold Stories, Murderer and Not An Easy Road. The album heard him taking a more spiritual direction and finding Rastafari. The 1997 follow-up, Inna Heights, followed a similar path. Germain who has also produced hits by Buju compatriots Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths and Wayne Wonder, notes that because Buju has an “excellent catalog”, his music is still fresh.
“Yuh still hear his songs at every stage show an’ dance. The people love him an’ that doesn’t hurt.”
Buju Banton, who turned 44 on July 15, won a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2011 with Before The Dawn.