Bounty Killer is really feeling himself right now and rightfully so.
The dancehall kingpin says he is proud of the fact that three years shy of 50, and after more than 27 years in Jamaica’s music industry, he is aging like fine wine. “Gyal dem say mi aging gracefully; handsome dem wah hold mi ransom and 47 fit me better than 27,” the Killa declared recently in an Instagram post, which attracted more than 10,000 and hundreds of comments from adoring female fans.
Bounty Killer, born Rodney Pryce in Kingston in 1972, grew up in the battle-hardened community of Seaview Gardens in Jamaica’s capital, Kingston. He celebrated his 47th birthday two weeks ago on June 12, 2019.
The artiste, who stands at six feet two inches tall, has credited the practicing of good eating habits learned from his late mother Miss Ivy, as well as doing push-ups, for his sleek form and youthful appearance.
His tendency to spend copious amounts of time with his own children, as well as chilling with, and mentoring other youngsters through his foundation, may also be having some impact on the Killer maintaining his youthful looks.
Less than two weeks ago, he was in the company of several at-risk boys in Kingston, providing motivational talks as a part of #OurSons – an interactive session for boys and young men under the Bounty Killer Foundation.
The doting dad was also recently captured in a photo, sitting in the stands at one of his younger daughter’s school’s sports day where he took time out to give her his undivided support.
The self-proclaimed Poor People Governor shot to prominence in 1992 and became a household name following the legendary clash with arch-rival Dancehall artiste Beenie Man a year later at the Sting 1993 show, at Jamworld in St. Catherine.
This year at Reggae Sumfest, Bounty will square off with Beenie Man, in a much-anticipated friendly musical rivalry stint on Friday night, July 19, at the Catherine Hall venue in a segment dubbed ‘One night, one stage, two legends,’ a performance the artiste has predicted will be explosive.
His almost three-decade musical span has seen the release of iconic tracks such as the sound-system clash classic, Dub Fi Dub, Copper Shot and Spy Fi Die in his early Dancehall days, appearances on Multi-platinum discs, recording with some of the biggest names in world music, a joint Grammy and a plethora of other accolades.
With less than two months to go, Reggae Sumfest principal Joe Bogdanovich is upping the promotional ante for the 27-year old event. Speaking to The STAR, the promoter said the capacity for its new section, the Golden Triangle, is being increased to host more than 50 patrons.
“It’s providing probably the best seats in the house, and will be offered for maybe US$100 ($J13,422)a night, available for Friday and Saturday,” he said. “We’re also increasing the capacity for the ultra VIP section and we’re working on another section that we’ll tell people about later. That is gonna be an experience for everyone that is affordable for every type of patron.
He attributed this expansion to a high demand for tickets, stating patrons from across the Diaspora have expressed their interest in attending the event. He noted that the most purchased ticket thus far is for festival night one (formerly known as Dancehall Night) which unfolds on July 19, featuring acts like Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Govana and Dovey Magnum.
“Tickets are going very well, we’re actually getting good sales on Friday night and weekends,” he said. “Weekends are very popular tickets, people are liking what they are seeing there so it’s becoming a festival where you really have a weekend event. We’re expecting a big international crowd from Tallahassee, New York, Connecticut, Philadelphia, London, southern Florida. Fans and patrons have been saying they are coming in and we’ve been having our ads on radio stations across America, so we’re seeing the results.”
The festival will kick off with Mawnin Medz beach party, headlined by Stylo G and Skinny Fabulous at Tropical Beach, followed by the Street Dance at the Old Hospital Park on Jimmy Cliff Boulevard on Monday. An all-white party ensues on the 16th at Pier One, followed by the Blitz all-black birthday bash for soca star Bunji Garlin at the Hard Rock Cafe. The much-anticipated Global Sound Clash unfolds on Thursday at Pier One car park and precedes the two-day festival nights which closes with acts like Protoje, Buju Banton and Etana.
“Starting today we’re modifying our promotions and I think it’ll be very exciting and dynamic, you’ll see something new happening every day, on social media and other platforms,” Bogdanovich said.
When it was announced that Buju Banton, Beres Hammond and Chronixx were the headliners for this year’s staging of Reggae Sumfest, the reaction from the public spoke volumes as to the amount of support the festival would receive this year.
With just over two months to go before the event gets under way, checks with several hotels in the parish of St James have revealed that most of the rooms have been fully booked until the end of July.
Reggae Sumfest’s chief organiser, Joe Bogdanovich, believes there is a direct link between the festival’s line-up and the sold-out hotels.
Pointing out that ticket sales have been going well, Bogdanovich said that he thinks the Beres, Buju and Chronixx combination is one of the main reasons hotels have been booked out this early in the season.
“Reggae Sumfest is usually a sold-out show. Hotels in the Montego Bay area usually see an increase in bookings around the period the show is being held, but this year, I know for sure the demand has been greater,” he said.
“I am not surprised some people can’t get hotel rooms right now, because based on the ticket sales, the demand for the show this year has been overwhelming. It is the best I’ve seen it since I took over the festival. I think the B.B.C line-up has a lot to do with it. Beres, Buju and Chronixx are three of the biggest artistes on the local music scene, and I think people really want to see them in action,” he said, adding that Beenie Man and Bounty Killer are expected to give legendary performances on the Friday night.
According to Bogdanovich, tickets for this year’s festival are going so well that he and his team are thinking of adding another section to the grounds to meet demands.
“I am now thinking of building a whole new seating area, and it’s gonna be called the Golden Triangle. It will be for the more luxurious crowd. But all that will be discussed in another week or less because we are in the designing phase right now. I think we’re attracting more people this year than any other year, and we want to be prepared for that.”
Bogdanovich’s points are supported by statistics presented by Delano Seiveright, senior adviser/strategist in the Ministry of Tourism.
Seiveright told THE WEEKEND STAR that he has already seen increases in the number of hotel bookings for this year compared to the same period last year. He also said there has been an increase in the number of tourists who have booked flights to the island this summer.
“It is important to note that seat capacity for the destination this summer is 1,400,371 which is 108,872 or 8.4% more than 2018. The biggest growth is from the United States, which shows an increase of over 100,000 seats for the summer period (May through August 2019), compared with the same period in 2018,” he said.
“Jamaica has been experiencing very strong growth in tourist arrivals in recent times. This as a result of the multiple strategies pursued by the Ministry of Tourism and its agencies. Sumfest this year is mega, and already many hotels and other accommodations are reporting very high bookings, some of which is attributed to Reggae Sumfest.”
And for those who are yet to book hotel rooms, Seiveright is encouraging them to explore the Airbnb option and look beyond Montego Bay for accommodation.
The dancehall legends are set to perform together on the Sumfest stage on Festival Night 1 on July 19th.
Apr. 24, 2019
Ladies and gentleman get your bug spray and lighters ready for this one, because this is a legendary showcase that you do NOT want to miss…
Downside Entertainment, organizers of Reggae Sumfest, revealed that icons Bennie and Bounty will be gracing the stage for a tune for tune – 90’s recall! Known for their undeniably high energy, witty lyrics, and outstanding stage presence, the pair is expected to sing songs from different genres through all ages.
Bennie and Bounty will show off their skills and talent that has allowed them to stay at the top of the dancehall scene for more than two decades, according to Cordell “Skatta” Burrell, of Downside Entertainment.
Some other great acts set to hit the stage are Spice, Spragga Benz, Elephant Man, and Squash during Festival night one on July 19th, and Buju Banton, Tarrus Riley, and Chris Martin at Festival night two on July 20th.
Find tickets and the full line up here.