SINCE the early 1990s, the name Buju Banton has been at the forefront of the Jamaican and international reggae/ dancehall music fraternity. The deejay, known for his engaging live performances fuelled by a poignant catalogue of music, was yesterday convicted on drug charges. Here is a look at the time line of the artiste.
1972 — Mark Anthony Myrie is born in Salt Lane, St Andrew on July 15.
1986 — a young Buju is introduced to producer Robert Ffrench by fellow deejay Clement Irie.
1987 — Buju drops first single. Debuting with the track The Ruler.
1991 — Buju joined Donovan Germain’s Penthouse Records label leading to the release of popular hits including Bogle, Browning and Black Woman.
1992 — Re-release of Buju Boom Bye Bye, which had been recorded years earlier.
1994 — Buju, reportedly affected by the singer Garnett Silk’s death, embraces Rastafari and begins growing his locks.
1995 — Buju releases what is considered his seminal album ‘Til Shiloh — marking a slight shift away from dancehall towards roots reggae.
1999 — Buju drops Inna Heights which earns him a Grammy nomination.
2004 — Saw the release of the politically charged Friends for Life album which also received a Grammy nod.
2007 — In a return to his dancehall roots, Buju dropped the album Too Bad which also found favour with the Grammy panel.
2009 — On April 21 Buju releases album Rasta Got Soul.
2009 — In September, Buju kicks off Rasta Got Soul tour of the United States at the Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia. However, the tour is plagued by cancellations due to pressure from gay rights groups.
2009 — On October 13, following the cancellation of a number of dates on his Rasta Got Soul tour, Buju meets with four members of San Francisco’s gay community.
2009 — In December Drug Enforcement Administration agents remanded Banton into custody in Miami, where the US District Attorney charged him with conspiracy to distribute and possession of more than five kilogrammes of cocaine.
2010 — On September 27, the case against Buju Banton was declared a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision.
2010 — Before the Dawn, the ninth studio album from Buju is release in North America and Japan on September 28.
2010 — on November 10, Buju is released on bond.
2011 — January 16, Buju performs to a sold-out audience at a specially arranged fund-raising concert held at the Bayfront Park Amphitheatre in downtown Miami.
2011 — On February 13 — one day before the scheduled start of his retrial in Tampa, Florida — Buju Banton’s Before The Dawn album is announced as the winner of the Best Reggae Album category at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards being held at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, California
2011 — February 22 — Buju is found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilogrammes of cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence and using communication wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offence. He was found not guilty on the charge of attempted possession of five kilogrammes or more of cocaine.