Kidjo And Lema Lead Blackwell Celebrations
Island Records founder CHRIS BLACKWELL was celebrated at Switzerland's annual Montreux Jazz Festival at the weekend (10-12Jul09) as artists including ANGELIQUE KIDJO and RAY LEMA paid tribute to the music mogul.
Blackwell set up his label in 1959, and went on to discover Bob Marley and give U2 their big break.
His efforts were applauded at the European festival as Island Records celebrates its 50th anniversary this year (09), with Grammy winner Kidjo admitting she had Blackwell to thank for her career.
The Benin-born singer/songwriter, who was signed by the businessman in 1991, told the crowd, "Without Mr. Chris Blackwell, you wouldn't have me before you tonight. That's all I have to say."
Lema continued the tributes, kicking off his set with a mix of jive and reggae, telling Blackwell, who sat in the audience, "I know you are a man of passion. In other people this passion dies away. So I just want to thank you for your passion, Chris Blackwell."