Monday, 15 December 2014

WHAT A YEAR! TALLAWAH MAGAZINE's Top 10 Entertainers of 2014

CREME DE LA CREME: They are game-changers, creative savants having a golden moment, and rising stars fast proving that the day is young on their careers. Below, we've assembled a wildly diverse Top Ten, whose remarkable accomplishments, cross-generational appeal, or exemplary example had us clapping, crying, cheering (or a combination of all three) in the past year. And, given their capacity to astonish, we can't wait to see what they'll deliver next.

DAVID TULLOCH: For pushing the envelope in Jamaican theatre with rousing tales about complex, modern lives 
Masterful doesn't even begin to describe the storytelling style that has come to characterize Tulloch's creative output of late. Between the bruising For My Daughter and the brow-raising Sins of the Flesh, audiences were in for a fun night at the theatre, with action-packed plays that not only entertained and satisfied but raised the bar in an industry full of writers bringing their A-game as they jostle for the top spot. By Tulloch's own admission, what the prolific playwright-producer has planned for the coming year will knock people's socks off. Bring it on!

CVM'S World Cup crew: For delivering world-class coverage of the summer-long FIFA World Cup
From living rooms to office cubicles to packed sports clubs and corner shops the length and breadth of Jamaica, CVM had our eyes glued to the tube as football mania from The Greatest Show on Earth held folks in its happy grip. The experience for most was made all the better thanks to the station's groundbreaking, reliable and first-rate presentation (including frank post-game discussions) that set a new standard.

GLEN CAMPBELL: For proving that actors of a certain age can keep going strong buoyed by chameleonic skill and staying power
Few Jamaican actors working today can pull the nightly sold-out crowds to their shows as consistently and effortlessly as Campbell, whose commanding lead turns in two of the best shows of the past season If There's A Will and Funny Kind 'A Love — showed why he's a consummate star of the stage who appeals to theatregoers of all stripes.

MISS KITTY: For bringing electric energy and thought-provoking views to afternoon radio and islandwide events
Is Khadine 'Miss Kitty' Hylton Jamaica's new Queen of All Media? From radio to bookshelves to talent competitions to supercool TV commercials, this perpetually in-demand diva brings an unmistakable force-of-nature verve to everything she does. And she's clearly poised to further widen her reach in the years to come as she solidifies her powerful one-woman brand.

THE SCHOOL OF DRAMA: For mounting productions that compellingly remind us of theatre's singular power to provoke, delight and astonish
You can say this for Edna Manley College team: they know how to put on a show. One can always count on Eugene Williams, Pierre LeMaire and their regular guest collaborators to dually thrill and challenge us with adapted works, equal parts rousing and riveting. In 2014, they did not let us down, delivering Derek Walcott's Dream on Monkey Mountain, Suzan-Lori Parks' Venus, among other hits, that provided solid vehicles for the brilliant student actors who are taking the craft seriously.

KALADO: For bringing a dose of freshness to the music scene and giving us the dancehall jam of the year 
The top-flight deejay ruled radio and party playlists this year, as he got up close and 'personal' with dancehall aficionados — and they clearly liked what they heard. With his booming baritone, clean-cut image and tight flow — not to mention a slew of heat-seeking new singles — consider him the rookie of the year and one of the breakout acts to watch in 2015.

T-RIZZY, JL AND SARAI-LEE: For getting Jamaicans excited again about Digicel Rising Stars, with a top-three showdown worthy of the show's hefty ratings
Any of them could have walked away with the 2015 title, but on finale night that honour went to T-Rizzy, whose mix of raw talent and cool factor won over the chunk of the voting population and secured him a cool mil to get his career started — hopefully in the vein of the Chris Martin and Romain Virgo blueprint.

THE JCDC: For upholding our rich cultural traditions at all levels while exploring concepts entirely new 
Whether you caught the performing-arts extravaganza that was Mello Go Roun', the Grand Independence Gala spectacle or the inaugural and brilliantly conceived Aunty Roachy Festival at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, there was no denying that the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission did it big in 2014, satisfying appetites for worth-the-trip events steeped in our island heritage and high in entertainment value.

LADY RENNAE: For boldly spreading her wings into new territory and doing so with comedic flair and elan.
Transitioning from the FAME FM roster to the notoriously high-energy IRIE FM crew was proof positive that this multi-hyphenate go-getter is a woman on the move. This year her all-star animated series Mek Wi Laugh brought a fun kick to late-night TV. Months later, its hit theatrical adaptation solidified her rep as a mogul-in-the-making to keep an eye on.

TESSANNE CHIN: For repping the black, green and gold with distinction on the international scene — and giving us something to sing about
Tessanne's bring-them-to-their-feet vocals and fashion-forward image are always on point, but the chanteuse's profile reached stratospheric heights in 2014 with a superb major-label debut disc that surpassed expectations, her Digicel brand-ambassador appointment, performances at A-list Hollywood events and a bangin' new body that just won't quit. Consider us huge fans for life.

> HAVE YOUR SAY: Who did we miss? Who's in your Top 10? Drop us a line in the comments below!

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