Winston Hussey, a veteran singer/songwriter from Old Harbour Bay, St. Catherine, won the Jamaica Festival Song 2009 competition on Sunday (July 26) at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre with his entry, ‘Take Back Jamaica’.
Hussey, whose real name is Winston Bell, was a clear favourite with the large crowd. He beat nine other contestants in the finals, to take home the $1 million dollar cash prize, plus a cellular phone from Digicel Jamaica Ltd, the Stages Records Trophy and a gift certificate from fashion house, Cooyah.
The Best Performer prize went to Calvin McFarlane, with his entry ‘Jamaica Nuff Niceness’. McFarlane took home $300,000 and a trophy courtesy of Tastee Limited.
An award of $40,000 from the CHASE Fund was made to Oba Simba for being the Most Disciplined finalist, while female singer, Stacia Davidson, who was named the ‘Most Improved’, also collected $40,000 courtesy of Capital and Credit Financial Group.
Winner of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s 2009 Jamaica Festival Song Competition, Winston Hussey (second left), is presented with the winning trophy by Miss Jamaica Festival Queen, Kamesha Turner, after he topped the field of 10 finalists at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston on Sunday (July 26) with his entry, ‘Take Back Jamaica’. Looking on from left are: Marketing Executive at Digicel, Mark Martin (left) and Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett (second right), who represented Youth, Sports and Culture Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange.
As a special incentive, each songwriter who made the finals of the competition was presented with $100,000.
The 10 finalists were also given gold medals and certificates, presented by Executive Director (Acting) of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Delroy Gordon.
The other finalists were: Cris Christy with ‘Jamrock, Land of the King’; Pretty Rebel with ‘Persistent’; Nathan with ‘The Vibes’; Lester Lewis and Singing Rose with ‘I Love you Jamaica’; C.C. Blake with ‘Love a Likkle Island Yah’; and past winner, Tinga Stewart with ‘Make the Best of Today’.
Guest performers on the show were Busy Signal, Christopher Martin and 2008 winner Roy Rayon. The Master of Ceremonies was broadcaster Jerry Davy.
The competition was built around the festival theme, ‘I Believe’. The JCDC said that, throughout this year’s competition, it aimed to identify a song that invoked a spirit of celebration for Jamaica Festival 2009 while having relevance beyond the festive period.