Last year, when Shaggy and Sting performed their just-released single Don’t Make Me Wait live at the Grammy Awards ceremony, they had a short red-carpet interview discussing their upcoming collaborative album at Clive Davis’ Pre-Grammy Gala afterwards.
The ‘unlikely duo’, as they’ve been dubbed, probably thought about this moment at the time.
The collaborative album 44/876 was last night announced winner of the Best Reggae Album category at the 61st Grammy Awards.
It was the sixth nomination for Shaggy, who now has two Grammy awards under his belt, having won in 1996 with Boombastic. To round off a good night for the Jamaican entertainer, he also hosted the Grammys pre-show.
This was the 39th nomination for Sting, who has won 16 Grammys throughout his career, with The Police and as a solo act, but it is his first nomination and win in the Reggae category.
According to Billboard’s Year End chart, 44/876 was the top-selling Reggae Album of the year, selling more than 50,000 copies in the United States.
In reacting to the news that Shaggy and Sting had won the award, Entertainment Minister Olivia Grange heaped praise on the duo.
“Congrats to Jamaican superstar Shaggy and his English collaborator, Sting, on their 2019 Best Reggae Album win at the Grammy Awards taking place in Los Angeles.”
She added: “The duo beat a very strong field to cop the gong with their set 44/876.”
The title reflects the country codes of England and Jamaica, respectively, and Grange noted that the concept underlined the fact that music has no boundaries.
“This collaboration shows what our music has been doing in the world. Sting had a very strong reggae influence when he was a member of The Police. Shaggy has shown what our music can achieve across the world and has been very innovative in his approach,” she said.
“I also want to congratulate the other nominees on a job well done. Getting to the Grammys is never easy, and I want them to focus on the next round of entries and continue to do this reggae music of Jamaica proud.”
Meanwhile, producer Mikey Bennett said he was “really happy” for Shaggy.
“Shaggy is everything a reggae superstar should be, and he’s what you call a standard-bearer. He’s a wonderful ambassador for the music. There is no denying that.”
Other nominees in the category were Black Uhuru, who won the first ever Reggae Grammy in 1985 with Anthem; Ziggy Marley, the record-holder for the most Best Reggae Album wins – seven; and first-time nominees Etana and Protoje.
The 61st Grammy Awards took place on Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.