“Whenever I receive recognition from my own people, it feels very special because it’s a sign that they recognize what you’re doing and how you feel. Although I’m not one for accolades, this one feels extra special because it’s for the 50th anniversary of Independence. I probably won’t be around for the 100th anniversary, so it feels really good that I’m being recognized,” he said.
Gospel music promoter Adrian Agard was also recognized in this year’s National Independence Honours list. He received a Barbados Service Star for his contribution to the development of the art form not only locally, but also regionally and internationally. It would the proverbial cherry on top of the cake for Agard on the heels of one of his most successful staging of the annual Gospelfest in May.
The National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) also climaxed in spectacular style this year at Kensington Oval, with fireworks bursting out of the 50th anniversary cake, while the Coleridge & Parry Secondary School Choir sang Happy Birthday Barbados.
2016 was also another big year for Barbadian superstar Rihanna, who continued to rise by leaps and bounds.
After surpassing the Beatles on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart, she went on to cop the Billboard Chart Achievement Award at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas for her popular Work.
The Barbadian songstress would later walk away from the 2016 Video Music Awards with the MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. And through it all, she did not forget her home country.
On accepting the award, a smiling Rihanna showed her love for Barbados saying, “When I think about the Vanguard Award and receiving this tonight, all I could think of was my country. They’re going to be so proud. This is the first to land anywhere close to my country,” she said.
“My success started as my dream, but now my success is not my own. It’s my family’s, it’s my fans’, it’s my country’s, it’s the Caribbean’s as a whole, it’s women’s, it’s black women’s,” the singer added.
In early December it was also announced that Rihanna had received eight Grammy nominations, capping a truly whirlwind year in which she also achieved untold success with her Puma shoe line.
However, it was not all Work for RiRi this year. The Bajan songstress took time away from her hectic schedule to take part in the last lap 50th anniversary events.
This year’s Golden Jubilee will also be remembered for a number of other nostalgic events, including Barbados Is Music, the show which brought three of Barbados’ biggest bands, if only for one night. Edwin Yearwood’s Krosfyah teamed up with Alison Hinds’ Square One and Rupee, TC and the rest of the Coalishun band as soca lovers were taken on a most enjoyable trip down memory lane.
Speaking of memory lane, the return of the Miss Universe Barbados pageant after a nine-year hiatus an the eventual victory of Shannon Harris brought back vivid memories of the controversial crowning of Liz Wadman as Miss Barbados Universe in 1985 that led to the popular calypso Miss Barbados by The Mighty Gabby.
Immediately following her win, a number of Barbadians turned to social media to express their disapproval of the 21-year-old, mixed-race international model, who was born and raised here. They complained that she was white and should not represent the country.
However, the show’s organizers immediately lashed back at the critics, labelling the comments as “simply absurd” and inappropriate, while calling on those fuelling racist discourse to stop the chatter.
“Shannon was born and bred here; she was educated at Harrison College. Shannon is 100 per cent Bajan and has every right to be wearing the crown. We opened the pageant to all shapes, sizes [and] colours. As long as you are Barbadian you could enter . . . We had an incredible top five and a fabulous top three and now an amazing queen, and we are delighted to be working with the new queen over the next few months getting her ready for the [Miss Universe] pageant,” National Director of the Miss Universe pageant Brian Greene told Barbados TODAY at the height of the controversy which died down almost as quickly as it had started.
By yearend, there was no sign of the initial conflict that surrounded Harris’ crowning but everywhere you turned there was talk of DJ Puffy following his win at the Redbull Thre3style competition in Santiago, Chile earlier this month.
Puffy did both himself and his country proud and plans to use his most recent achievement to inspire others to follow their dreams.
“I was in a position where I had to make a decision and I chose to follow the dream. I put my all into it along with my team and support system,” the 25-year-old said.
Here’s wishing the entire entertainment fraternity a prosperous and productive 2017 filled with peace, love, and all that good stuff!