After being the youngest person to sell more in 2015 than seven top Jamaican artists combined, Joss Stone’s Reggae Artist of the Year award continues to create waves of outrage and debate across social media.
Stone topped two of Billboard Magazine’s end of year reggae chart rundowns, with her 2015 album ‘Water for Your Soul’ spending eight weeks at the top of the chart – selling 29,000 copies.
According to Billboard, the year-end reggae charts are based solely on chart performance during the tracking year on the weekly Reggae Albums sales chart.
Water for Your Soul, which was released on Stone’s own label [Stone’d] through Kobalt and features collaborations with Damian Marley, was the best selling in the chart year between 6 December 2014 and 28 November 2015. The album is Stone’s seventh album to chart on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, debuting and peaking at number 6.
The news of Stone’s 2015 award from Billboard has not gone done well with reggae fans across the world. Fans took to Twitter to voice their shock and opposition of the news.
“Joss Stone won Billboards Reggae artist of the year?? ….. Wait … Did Steve Harvey announce this?”, @JSoulSounds tweeted, implying that it may be an error on the announcement.
@alysSAWRAH tweeted, “I only recognize Joss Stone songs bc I always think “this white lady’s trying real hard to sing black, must be Joss Stone”. And sure enough”.
Another user, @SuperstarE3, wrote, “I love Joss Stone but please don’t kid yourself! Joss Stones [sic] does not do reggae music”.
The tweets continued with memes and outbursts from users; with many citing how ridiculous it is that a former soul singer with one reggae-themed album has topped the chart.
Earlier in 2015, Joss Stone said she’d recorded a reggae album after encouragement from Damian Marley. She told FaceCulture: “I’m just writing, and it’s like we just have these songs and it sounds nice, the end”.
The 28-year-old singer continued saying, “I made a deliberate decision to not make it a straight reggae record. That’s very conscious and not an accident because I don’t want to annoy anyone and I just want to enjoy music and become part of whatever it is I’m doing”.
It’s unpredictable which genre Stone will have next, should she decide to record another album. The singer is known for switching between genres in all her seven albums which range in styles from R&B, soul and blues to funk, reggae and rock.
Whilst Water for Your Soul has been the biggest-selling current reggae album of 2015 and the second-largest overall, it did not impress Billboard magazine writer Steven Horowitz who described Stone’s ‘reggae experiment’ as “unconvincing”.
Among all reggae albums, Bob Marley and the Wailers’ greatest hits Legend album – released in 1984 – has sold 191,000 in total so far.