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Jamaica honours Ras Michael and Niney The Observer

Jamaica honours Ras Michael and Niney The Observer

Jamaica honours Ras Michael and Niney The Observer

By Howard Campbell on Saturday, August 22, 2015 - Comment

They will receive the Order of Distinction this year.

Ras Michael and Winston 'Niney' Holness, who contributed in different ways to the roots-reggae explosion of the 1970s, have been recognised with national honours by the Jamaican government.

Both will receive the Order of Distinction, Jamaica's sixth highest honour, in October when the country observes National Heroes Day.

The 72-year-old Ras Michael helped popularise traditional Rastafarian drumming (Nyahbinghi) with the Sons of Negus, the group he founded in the early 1970s.

Their songs, like New Name and The Lion of Judah, earned the Nyahbinghi sound mainstream recognition.

Holness established himself as a producer after hitting the British charts in 1970 as an artiste with the song Blood and Fire.

In 1973, he produced a series of cutting-edge songs by Dennis Brown backed by the Soul Syndicate Band, such as Westbound Train and Cassandra.

Reggae Sunsplash co-founder Ronnie Burke and music producer Donovan Germain of Penthouse Records have also been awarded the OD.

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