'Keep yuh hands a yuh side' - Bounty Killer speaks out about abuse
Dancehall superstar Bounty Killer last night condemned acts of violence against women, urging men to "keep yuh hands a yuh side".
Bounty Killer, who performed at last year's show despite protests from some women who advocated for him to be excluded because of incidents of abuse against women, said he was glad to have been given a second chance to perform at the free concert.
"I am an advocate for the women of Jamaica. I had crossed the line but myself I find," Bounty Killer said.
Bounty Killer was charged with beating his girlfriend with a hammer. The case against him was dismissed in court.
Last night, the artiste said men should seek at all times to work alongside the women to achieve results.
"We are about equality," he said. "Gender equality," he said.
Bounty Killer's performance came a day after he celebrated the birthday of his departed mother, Miss Ivy. Richie Stephens joined the Warlord on stage to perform Mama Yuh Deserve a Pot of Gold.
Several of Jamaica's leading entertainers yesterday lauded the fairer sex by performing at a free concert for International Women's Day at the National Indoor Sports Centre put on by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport through the Bureau of Gender Affairs, in association with AIDS Healthcare Foundation Jamaica.
Bounty Killer, however, did not miss the opportunity to comment on other social issues. He said that there is need for a "state of urgency" to deal with the matters facing the country. "Get urgent on the problems."
Earlier, Richie Stephens noted that the day is special for ladies, but said: "I dedicate each and everyday to ladies because I love my mother, I love my wife, I love all the ladies".
The all-female reggae band Adazeh opened the stage with original songs Sistren and Island Girl. The band then got the concert hall on their feet and some of the audience on the stage - all dancing along to the Bogle, Butterfly, Willie Bounce, Shoulder Fling and their new dance called the Harvest.
Next on the line-up was prodigious reggae act Koffee, who opened her set with original dancehall song, Ragamuffin - followed by her breakout hit, Burning.
Veteran rocksteady crooner Leroy Sibbles managed to pull the crowd to their feet, so too did Rondell Positive and Nesbeth.
Kevin Downswell, who rocked the house with his popular You Make Me Stronger, urged all women: "Don't stop pushing, in spite of the stereotypes".
Queen Ifrica urged women to respect themselves and to be strong.
"It's International Women's Day and we are saying specifically to black women that you are very important in the mix of all of that. You must love yourself, respect yourself, respect your vagina, it is the womb that brings forth all nations into this world," she said. "Don't become nuh stats".