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Theron Thomas: A Beacon of Inspiration with 2024 Grammy Songwriter of the Year Award

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At the 66th Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony, Theron Thomas proudly accepts the Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical award, showcasing Virgin Islands talent on a global stage. (Source: LA Times)

Theron Thomas, celebrated as the 2024 Songwriter of the Year (Non-Classical) at the 66th annual Grammy Awards, delivered a powerful message on Sunday night, embodying hope and ambition for the youth of the Virgin Islands and the wider Caribbean. “This victory is a testament to the boundless dreams we can aspire to, irrespective of our origins from small islands,” Thomas expressed, following his prestigious win. This year, Thomas distinguished himself with chart-topping hits such as “Pretty Girls Walk” by Big Boss Vette, “Told Ya” featuring Chlöe & Missy Elliot, and “Been Thinking” by Tyla, propelling him ahead of other notable contenders in his category.

Following his significant contribution to Lizzo’s “About Damn Time,” which clinched the Record of the Year in 2023, Thomas’s talent has consistently been recognized among industry elites. “To be mentioned alongside such revered talents is an honor,” Thomas remarked, acknowledging his peers, including nominee Justin Trantor. His remarkable journey is adorned with collaborations with global icons like Rihanna, Beyonce, and K-Pop’s Jung Kook, to name a few, establishing him as a vanguard of musical innovation.

Thomas is a firm believer in the Virgin Islands’ potential to emerge as a powerhouse in the music industry and across the Caribbean. He praised local artists such as Adam O and Pressure Buss Pipe for leading the charge in showcasing the rich musical heritage of the territory.

Reflecting on his journey, Thomas shared his modest beginnings and aspirations with the Consortium, “My initial goal was simple – to provide for my family. Yet, this journey has evolved into a broader mission to inspire the next generation in the Virgin Islands.” He emphasizes the importance of embracing one’s journey, including the setbacks, as a pathway to growth and improvement.

Commissioner Joseph Boschulte of the Department of Tourism commended Thomas for his dedication and discipline, which culminated in this extraordinary achievement. “Theron Thomas exemplifies the essence of Virgin Islands excellence. His accomplishments reflect our cultural mantra, Naturally in Rhythm, and we are immensely proud of his global recognition,” Boschulte stated.

Governor Albert Bryan also extended heartfelt congratulations to Thomas, celebrating his historical achievement as a moment of great pride for the U.S. Virgin Islands. “Theron’s Grammy win is a monumental achievement not just for him, but for our entire community. It underscores the global impact one individual from our territory can have, affirming the Virgin Islands’ place on the world stage,” Governor Bryan remarked.

Through his groundbreaking achievements, Theron Thomas continues to inspire and elevate the profile of the Virgin Islands, proving that talent, resilience, and hard work can transcend geographical boundaries and resonate globally.

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UB40 to Headline Blue Horizon Concert at UVI in St. Thomas on August 18

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The University of the Virgin Islands’ Reichhold Center for the Arts (RCA) will host the 2nd Annual Blue Horizon Concert on Sunday, August 18. Headlining the event is the four-time Grammy-nominated reggae band UB40. The outdoor concert will take place on the Herman E. Moore Golf Course at the Orville E. Kean Campus in St. Thomas, beginning at 6 p.m.

This performance is the final stop on UB40’s “Red Red Wine Tour” in the United States, celebrating the release of their 45th Anniversary album, UB45. The band will perform some of their most famous hits, including “Red Red Wine,” “Food For Thought,” and “(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You,” as well as new tracks from UB45. Opening acts include Virgin Islands bands RVP Band, Reggae Dynasty, and Dub Lab.

“We are thrilled to be part of UB40’s U.S. tour and to bring one of the world’s most loved reggae bands to the U.S. Virgin Islands for an unforgettable night of music under the stars,” said RCA Director Denise Humphrey. “While the Reichhold Center for the Arts facility is under reconstruction, we remain committed to enriching the cultural and social life of the VI community with world-class performances from across the globe and to showcasing our local talent.”

The Blue Horizon Concert also serves as a fundraiser supporting the restoration efforts of the Reichhold Center for the Arts and the Addie Ottley Community Service Scholarship Fund, which helps UVI students studying communication. Launched in 2022 to honor local legend Addie Ottley, the musical series is now in its third year.

UB40, the world’s biggest-selling reggae group with over 100 million albums sold worldwide, includes members James Brown (drums), Robin Campbell (guitar/vocals), Earl Falconer (bass/vocals), Norman Hassan (percussion/vocals), Martin Meredith (keyboards/WX7/saxophone), Jahred Gordon (keyboards), Laurence Parry (trumpet/flugel/trombone), Ian Thompson (saxophone), Gilly G (MC vocals), Matt Campbell (backing vocals), and lead vocalist and guitarist Matt Doyle. Formed in Birmingham, England, the multi-cultural band has been recording and touring since 1978, boasting more than 50 UK Top 40 singles and 10 UK Top 10 albums.

“We’re excited to get back to the States again for our third year in a row, as we love coming to America,” said Robin Campbell. “We can’t wait to play songs from our new album that we’re so very proud of, showcasing Matt Doyle’s vocals on the tracks. He’s brought a new lease of life to our music, as has the addition of our ‘permanent guest’ MC Gilly G and my son on backing vocals, Matt Campbell, carrying on the legacy. When you play songs over so many years, the arrangements and vocals evolve and change. These updated versions of our hits are still close to the originals, but now reflect how we perform them today and they sound better than ever.”

Tickets for the concert are available now on the UVI Reichhold Center for the Arts website. General admission tickets are priced at $75 per person, while VIP tickets are available for $175, which include designated parking and seating, special VIP entrance, two complimentary drinks, complimentary tapas, and access to a VIP cash bar.

For more information, visit the UVI Reichhold Center for the Arts website and the UB40 official website.

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Crowning Glory: St. John Celebration’s 2024 Royalty Revealed

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Cruz Bay, St. John – The vibrant spirit of St. John Celebration was brought to life on Sunday as the 2024 royalty were crowned during a dazzling selection show in Cruz Bay. The community gathered in anticipation as Tejari Moses was named Celebration Prince, De’Aneysha Hill crowned Celebration Jr. Miss, and Sarai Lawrence was honored as Celebration Princess.

This event marks a highlight in the annual St. John Celebration, which kicked off on June 8 and features a month-long series of cultural events. The festivities began with Pan-O-Rama, showcasing the rich heritage of steel pan music, and will culminate in a grand fireworks display on July 4th, commemorating both the 70th anniversary of the St. John Celebration and the 126th anniversary of the Virgin Islands Emancipation​ (St. Croix Source)​​ (St. Thomas Source)​​ (US Virgin Islands)​.

The crowning ceremony held special significance as it reflects the community’s dedication to preserving and promoting local culture. The new royalty will serve as ambassadors for the festival, participating in various parades and events throughout the celebration.

Tejari Moses, De’Aneysha Hill, and Sarai Lawrence captivated the audience with their poise, talent, and commitment to community values, embodying the essence of this year’s theme, “70 Years of Culture and Class Galore.”

The St. John Celebration continues to be a beacon of cultural pride, featuring a variety of activities including the Princess, Jr. Miss, and Queen Pageants, a Food Fair, and Boat Races. With performances from international stars such as Wyclef Jean and local bands, the festival promises to deliver unforgettable experiences for both residents and visitors alike​ (St. Croix Source)​​ (St. Thomas Source)​​ (US Virgin Islands)​.

For more information on the event schedule and activities, visit the official St. John Celebration page.

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Janeisha John Shines on the International Fashion Stage

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Janeisha John, a native of the Virgin Islands, graces the cover of L’Officiel India’s latest issue, making a significant mark in the global fashion industry. This cover, generating international buzz, showcases the creative work of another USVI native, Aria Garcia.

Janeisha stuns in a breathtaking dress designed by Garcia, blending innovative design with classic elegance. The magazine spread features six distinct looks, each styled to reflect the vibrant and evolving nature of contemporary fashion. Notably, Janeisha dazzles in a green dress from Garcia’s acclaimed “Joy” collection, first unveiled in the Spring/Summer 2020 season.

Captured by the renowned photographer Chris Martin, Janeisha’s presence is immortalized in a series of captivating photographs that exude energy and narrative, highlighting her versatility and the avant-garde styling of the shoot.

Janeisha’s career reaches new heights with this iconic magazine feature, according to a release issued Monday. From her beginnings in the Virgin Islands to the cover of L’Officiel India, her journey epitomizes style and grace. “Working alongside Aria Garcia, Chris Martin, and the entire team has been awe-inspiring,” Janeisha shared. “Their unparalleled creativity and dedication have elevated this project to unprecedented heights. I am humbled to be part of such a visionary and groundbreaking endeavor.”

The release highlights Janeisha’s meteoric rise in the fashion world, attributing her success to relentless passion and unwavering dedication. Her ascent from humble beginnings to style icon serves as an inspiration to fashion enthusiasts worldwide, demonstrating that dreams can be realized through perseverance and determination.

L’Officiel India, a trendsetter in avant-garde fashion and cultural zeitgeist, continues to redefine industry standards with cutting-edge editorials, exclusive interviews, and breathtaking photography. This latest issue, curated under the visionary eye of Aria Garcia, stands as a testament to the magazine’s commitment to pushing boundaries and celebrating global fashion and culture.

Available now on newsstands and digital platforms, this issue invites readers to explore the luxurious world of high fashion, positioning L’Officiel India as a cornerstone of fashion innovation and excellence.

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