Six-times Jamaica’s National Festival Song Competition winner Eric Donaldson was one of the recipients of the Icon Awards at the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association Honor Awards held recently at the Little Theatre in St. Andrew.
Donaldson has earned bragging rights by winning the competition over the years with songs such as, Cherry Oh Baby 1971, Sweet Jamaica 1977, Land of My Birth 1978, Proud to Be Jamaica 1984, Big It Up 1993, and Peace and Love 1997.
Although, Donaldson in his acceptance speech expressed delight in receiving the Icon Reward he opined that he feels like a forgotten man by his own compatriots.
“Like I said, it feels very good to know that somebody remembers me. I’m in the business for a long time and I get a few awards years ago, but this is definitely something very different and I appreciate the whole movement,” he reportedly told the Jamaica Observer in an interview.
Donaldson further explained that he is still busy doing overseas tour and producing records, albeit not seen locally.
“Right now, I am busy working. I have an album called Cosmic, and I put out another album in October last year called Control Your Temper, which are both doing well in Brazil… cause Brazil is really my playground. There is also Africa, but the thing in Africa kinda slow down at this time but Brazil really keeping me going.”
He touted Brazil as being one of his biggest markets and noted the spiritual connection with people from the South American country with the largest population of black people outside of Africa.
“Right now, the people in Brazil don’t really listen to the lyrics but there is a type of melody and a bear that they are clearly connecting with from a longer time. So, whenever anyone comes with that beat or that melody that you immediately capture the heart of the Brazilian. So clearly, they find that in my music and I just have to give thanks as they are really showing me love down there,” Donaldson reportedly said.
Donaldson’s signature song, “Cherry Oh Baby” continues to be his most popular and has been covered by international artists such as The Rolling Stones and UB40, among others.
Pollyanna Davy, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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