On Oct. 21, dancehall superstar Sean Paul was bestowed the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander Class, in Kingston, Jamaica, for “his contribution to the global popularity and promotion of reggae music.” The Order of Distinction is the sixth-highest honor within Jamaica’s Orders of Societies of Honor; at 46, Sean is one of the youngest in his field to be so recognized.
Over the past two decades, Sean Paul’s success has played a pivotal role in securing a place for dancehall in the pop mainstream. His singles “Gimme The Light,” “Like Glue” and the Hot 100 chart toppers “Temperature” and “Get Busy” enjoyed widespread U.S. radio play without the remixes that are typically used to take dancehall to a larger audience. He’s collaborated with superstars like Beyonce and Sia, and nabbed the 2004 best reggae album Grammy for Dutty Rock. Despite these significant accomplishments, Sean was truly humbled, and somewhat stunned, by the acknowledgement he received from the Jamaican government. “I have watched people receive this award all my life, basically, and to know that I’ve taken certain steps that have brought me to this point now, I almost can’t believe it,” he told Billboard. “I am very proud that my country has seen my works. All I really try to do is emulate the greats that I’ve learned from. I owe this to them and to the Jamaican people for giving me the opportunity to entertain.”
In addition to his releases for Island Records, Sean has issued a steady output of music on his Dutty Rock Productions. Sean’s current single, “Buss A Bubble,” an upbeat dancehall jam, was produced by veteran Jamaican deejay and hit-making producer Delly Ranx (for Ranx’s Pure Music Productions; distributed by Johnny Wonder 21 Digital Distribution).