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Kabaka Pyramid Wins ‘Best Reggae Album’ At 2023 Grammy Awards

Written by on February 5, 2023

Reggae star Kabaka Pyramid has won the 2023 Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album with his sophomore album The Kalling.

The winner was announced by presenter Arturo O’Farrill, during the 65th Annual Grammy Awards premiere ceremony, which was held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 5.

The Well Done singer came out ahead of Koffee, who was nominated for her debut album Gifted, Sean Paul, who was nominated for Scorcha, Shaggy for Com Fly Wid Mi, and Protoje for Third Time’s The Charm.

Kabaka Pyramid

Kabaka, who was accompanied onstage by his mother and other guests, thanked the Recording Academy and the other nominees in the category, who “represented Jamaica and the Caribbean.”

“Thank you for everybody supporting Reggae music…positive, conscious music,” he continued. “Thank you to my mom, Marcia Salmon, my dad, Kipin Salmon, my management team…we just some kids from Kingston, Jamaica. Much love to Damian Marley, who produced the album. Stephen Marley. And this one is for Jo Mersa Marley, who we lost in December.”

The Kalling—which featured Reggae legend Peter Tosh, Protoje, Buju Banton, Jesse Royal, Damian Marley, and Stephen Marley—was ranked No. 1 on DancehallMag‘s list of the best Dancehall/Reggae albums of 2022.

Music journalist Nicholas Nam wrote: “With Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley on board as an executive producer, Kabaka comes unbound across The Kalling, offloading torrents of wisdom on tracks as wide-ranging as the booming roots anthem Red Gold and Green to the sublime, Spanish guitar-bearing Life Is Beautiful. The future of Jamaican music converges with its past as Kabaka infuses spirituality with pragmatism throughout these sample-bearing, forward-facing tracks.”

kabaka
Kabaka Pyramid – The Kalling

The album, which was released on September 30, 2022 by Ghetto Youths International and Bebble Rock Music, had peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart after it sold 600 units during its first week of release in the United States.

As of December 31, 2022, The Kalling has sold 4,100 units in the US, including 4.7 million in audio and video streaming, according to data provided to DancehallMag from sales tracker Luminate.

It was Kabaka’s first nomination for Best Reggae Album.

His debut album Kontraband was released in 2018.

Last year, American reggae band SOJA won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album with their album Beauty In The Silence.

Toots & the Maytals emerged as the winner in 2021 for their album Got To Be Tough, while Koffee won in 2020 with her Rapture EP.

Related: Here’s The Album Sales For The 38 Past Winners Of Best Reggae Album, And The 2023 Nominees