Jamaica Festival Songs - Popular (Winning) Songs Since 1966

by Wellesley

Jamaica National Flag

Jamaica National Flag

The Jamaica Festival Song, also called the the Popular Song Competition, and before 1990 known as the Independence Festival Song Competition, first took place in 1966.

It is one of the highlights of the Jamaica Independence Festival which was initiated in 1962 with the objective of showcasing Jamaica's literary, fine, and performing artists, and to celebrate the Jamaican culture.

The Jamaica Independence Festival was the brainchild of then Minister of Community Development (and later Prime Minister) Edward Seaga.

Anyways, here is a list of the all the winning festival song titles and their singers since 1966.

1966 - The Maytals; Song: Bam Bam

1967 - The Jamaicans; Song: Ba Ba Boom

1968 - Desmond Dekker & The Aces; Song: Music Like Dirt

1969 - The Maytals; Song: Sweet and Dandy

1970 - Hopeton Lewis; Song: Boom Shaka Laka

1971 - Eric Donaldson; Song: Cherry Oh Baby

1972 - Toots & the Maytals; Song: Pomps and Pride

1973 - Morvin Brooks; Song: Jump In The Line

1974 - Tinga Stewart; Song: Play de Music

1975 - Roman Stewart; Song: Hooray Festival

1976 - Freddie McKay; Song: Dance This Ya Festival

1977 - Eric Donaldson; Song: Sweet Jamaica

1978 - Eric Donaldson; Song: Land Of My Birth

1979 - The Astronauts; Song: Born Jamaican

1980 - Stanley & The Turbines; Song: Come Sing With Me

1981 - Tinga Stewart; Song: Nuh Wey Nuh Betta Dan Yard

1982 - The Astronauts; Song: Mek Wi Jam

1983 - Ras Karbi; Song: Jamaica I'll Never Leave You

1984 - Eric Donaldson; Song: Proud To Be Jamaican

1985 - Roy Rayon; Song: Love Fever

1986 - Stanley & The Turbines; Song: Dem A Fe Squirm

1987 - Roy Rayon; Song: Give Thanks and Praises

1988 - Singer Jay; Song: Jamaica Land We Love

1989 - Michael Forbes; Song: Stop and Go

1990 - Robbie Forbes; Song: Island Festival

1991 - Roy Rayon; Song: Come Rock

1992 - Heather Grant; Song: Mek Wi Put Things Right

1993 - Eric Donaldson; Song: Big It Up

1994 - Stanley & The Astronauts; Song: Dem a Pollute

1995 - Eric Donaldson; Song: Join De Line

1996 - Zac Henry & Donald White; Song: Meck We Go Spree

1997 - Eric Donaldson; Song: Peace and Love

1998 - Neville Martin; Song: Jamaica Whoa

1999 - Cheryl Clarke; Song: Born Inna JA

2000 - Stanley Beckford; Song: Fi Wi Island A Boom

2001 - Roy Richards; Song: Lift Up Jamaica

2002 - Devon Black; Song: Progress

2003 - Stefan Penincilin; Song: Jamaican Tour Guide

2004 - Stefan Penincilin; Song: Ole Time Jamaica

2005 - Khalil N Pure; Song: Poverty

2006 - Omar Reid; Song: Remember The Days

2007 - Neville 'Gunty' Winters; Song: Woman A Di Beauty

2008 - Roy Rayon; Song: Rise and Shine

2009 - Winston Hussey; Song: Take Back Jamaica

2010 - Kharuso; Song: My Jamaica

2011 - Everton David Pessoa; Song: Oh if We

2012 - Abbygaye Dallas: Song: Real Born Jamaican

2013 - Competition was suspended. Read more.

2014 - Rushane "Deep Jahi" Sanderson: Song: I Love JA

2015 - Lee-Roy 'Ancient Priest' Johnson: Song: Celebration Time

2016 - Oneil “Nazzleman” Scott: Song: No weh like Jamaica

2017 - Suspended (Second Time). Read More.

By the way, if you are interested in purchasing copies of any of them, simply Google the name of the artiste and the title of the song, or visit our Amazon partner page by clicking this Jamaica Festival Songs link.

You also search and watch the videos on each of them at YouTube.com;

So do you know (remember) any of these? What's your favourite?

Comments for Jamaica Festival Songs - Popular (Winning) Songs Since 1966

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Aug 31, 2016
Festival Song 2013
by: AckeeEater

I have compiled a directory of all the Festival winners from 1966 on through 2016 for a radio show in the US. I have issues with only five of them-- one I found only a 1-minute clip, another is of poor quality, two I cannot find at all but I know the names.

The most egregious case though is for 2013. Everything I read says, like you did, that a different format from the normal open contest will be used. Well, what was the result of that? I cannot find that anywhere!

So, I'm asking here, do you know which tune emerged as winner? (I will also write the JCDC.) Thanks.


Jul 03, 2016
my favorite song
by: Maxwell

I can't choose because I love them all.I hope to see my name on the list one day.

Apr 18, 2016


Aug 07, 2015
very informative
by: Anonymous

My vest song was Toots and the Maytals Bam bam

Aug 06, 2015
by: Anonymous


Aug 03, 2013
by: Leslie-Ann

Good information, good memories. What would make it complete would be the writers of those songs.

Jul 31, 2013
Its the season now
by: Anonymous

Love hearing these songs.

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