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    News | Andy Palacio
  Andy Palacio Wins BBC3 Music Award  
The tragic death on Saturday 19th January of Andy Palacio, the much-loved Garifuna musician from Belize, has made it appropriate to reveal that he is the winner of the Americas category in the 2008 BBC Radio 3 Awards For World Music.

Although decided by the jury in December, the official announcement of all the winners is not due to be made by the BBC until 10th April. However in these exceptional circumstances, the news of this should be released now so that a full measure of his achievements and the regard in which he was held by the world music community can be recorded along with the many other tributes now being made to him. When this is heard at his State funeral in Belize on Friday, his people will know that this Garifuna musician, with his marginalised indigenous culture, had been chosen as the best artist of all the Americas.

BBC Radio 3 presenter Lucy Duran, who is to broadcast a tribute to Andy Palacio this coming Saturday, has commented: "The news of Andy Palacio's untimely death has been an absolute shock. It seems impossible that Andy has gone. He was young, healthy, dynamic, at his prime. And such a loss to so many people around the world, at the very moment when he was truly set to become an international star

- with the incredible success of the album Wátina - such a loss to his own people, the Garifuna, for whom he was such an articulate and charismatic spokesman. Such a personal loss to Ivan Duran - fellow Belizean musician and music producer, who worked tirelessly for so many years with Andy on making Garifuna music better known, culminating in Wátina, which has an anthemic quality to it and has been for many in the world music industry the best album of 2007. This is quite simply heartbreaking news."

Many of us in the world music community were moved by Andy Palacio's acceptance speech on receiving the 2007 Womex Award, in which he stated: "I see this award not so much as a personal endorsement but in fact as an extraordinary and sincere validation of a concept in which artists such as myself take up the challenge to make music with a higher purpose that goes beyond simple entertainment. I accept this award on behalf of my fellow artists from all over the world with the hope that it will serve to reinforce those sentiments that fuel cultures of resistance and pride in one's own."

We are proud to make this announcement that Andy Palacio has won the Americas Award in the 2008 BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music, though can only wish that it were made in very different circumstances.

fRoots magazine, Songlines magazine, Rough Guide To World Music, Womex
 
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