STAR of the Month: I didn't call myself King

February 13, 2018
Beenie Man
In this 2009 photo, Sumfest executives Walter Elmore (right) and Johnny Gourzong (left) present a framed citation and plaque to Dancehall King Beenie Man on Dancehall Night at Reggae Sumfest.

Long hailed as the king of the dancehall, entertainer Beenie Man says the title was not self-proclaimed.

According to the deejay, contrary to popular belief, he first received the honour during a competition put on by BET.

"Mi neva gi mi self di title, dem crown mi king of the dancehall. Mi do a thing fi BET, me vs reggaeton ... dem put me up against a artist name Tego Calderon and dem put wi inna a ring and BET, MTV, all a dem did deh deh a video the thing," he told THE STAR.

After defeating his opponent, he says that was when organizers and fans started to refer to him as the the king of the dancehall.

Despite, releasing the song King of the Dancehall on his 2004 Back to Basics album, Beenie Man argues that the tune was about females.

"Mi sing a song name King of the Dancehall, which was a girl song ... it nuh say nutten bout mi a di King, den people tek it fi say mi self-proclaim," he explained.

Although he has heard the rumour that he gave himself the title, he says he has never felt the need to dispel it.

Since his appearance at the BET event, the entertainer says he has received awards from numerous countries which have recognised him as the king of the dancehall.

"Mi get crown a Africa, mi get crown a England, and di last place mi get crown a Sumfest."

In 2009, Reggae Sumfest honoured Beenie Man for 30 years of contribution to reggae music.

"In this his 30th year in the music industry, it is only fitting to recognise his undeniable contribution to the development of dancehall and his role in promoting Jamaica's culture to international audiences," the citation read.

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