R&B’s reigning queen Mary J. Blige and hip-hop classic, LL Cool J, are set to thrill reggae fans in Jamaica early next month as they take the stage for the 15th annual Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest. Actual reggae and dancehall artists include Beanie Man, Bounty Killer, Movado, Buju Banton, among many others.
Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest is scheduled for July 15-21 in Montego Bay. Blige and Cool J are the biggest international acts confirmed for the reggae festival so far. Blige is set to perform on the final night, July 21, while Cool J is slated to take the stage on Friday night, July 20.
Blige, known for hits such as “Be Without You,” “No More Drama,” and “Not Gon’ Cry.” She last performed in Jamaica in 1997 at the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival and continues to dominate the charts with her album The Breakthrough. Blige was also the winner of nine Billboard Music Awards and two American Music Awards in 2006, and three Grammy awards.
Todd Smith, aka LL Cool J (Ladies Love Cool James), has come a long way from his origins in St. Albans, Queens. From his early days of rapping in front of the mirror in his bedroom while The Sugar Hill Gang boomed from his radio, LL has always been determined to be a winner in the game.
At 39-years old, LL Cool J has received two Grammy Awards, penned his autobiography I Make My Own Rules and is the first rap artist to amass six consecutive platinum selling albums and six gold singles. His hits include “I Can't Live Without My Radio,” “I'm Bad,” “Boomin' System” and “Mama Said Knock You Out.” LL Cool J has also appeared in several films. He is one of a few hip-hop stars of his era to sustain a successful recording career for more than two decades. He has released 12 albums and managed to successfully reinvent himself, with his music and appearance. His most release was Exit 13 in September 2006.