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Hartford honours Reggae singer Half Pint

reggae_singer_halfpintjamaica.jpgVeteran reggae performer Half Pint will receive a special proclamation from the City of Hartford, Connecticut, when he visits the United States in August.

The singer yesterday informed the Observer that Veronica Airey-Wilson, councilwoman of that city, has sent an invitation to him to join the council members and city representatives at the West Indian Week Independence Celebrations - where he will be acknowledged - on Saturday, August 11.

"It's showing that I am recognised internationally for my over 25-year contribution to the development of Jamaican music," said Half Pint, born Lindon Roberts.

"I am glad that Hartford is acknowledging my work and I appreciate what the city is doing for me," he added. "Jamaica should have done that a long time ago."

Ra-Umi Alkebu-lan, who works as the performer's publicist, echoed the same sentiments, lauding the artiste for enlisting a cult following in places like the United States and Europe.

"He is a world-renowned artiste and so it's not surprising that Hartford is doing that since he has a following all over the world," said Alkebu-lan.

"It's a justification for an artiste who's been an ambassador for reggae music," said Loyal Haylett, Half Pint's manager and friend.

"He has been consistent with songs that deal with equal rights and justice... so I am honoured from a managerial point of view," Haylett added.

The singer, who performed at the just concluded Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest, has an impressive repertoire including favourites Greetings, One Big Family and Landlord. He started out touring with local sound systems Black Scorpio, Jammys and Gemini, to name a few.

He has also worked with acclaimed music maestros Errol 'John' Marshall, Prince 'King' Jammy, rhythm twins Sly and Robbie, and Bobby 'Digital' Dixon, among others.

In 1983, Half Pint's first single, Sally, was released, followed by Winsome, the virtual anthem of the day. He continued to bombard the local and international reggae scenes with a slew of hits, including Level The Vibes, and the massive chart topper, Victory.

Despite being noticeably absent from the recording studios for most of this decade, Half Pint intends to reintroduce himself on the local market with his new album No Stress Express, due out in late August. His achievements include gaining the key to The City of Lauderdale Lakes by the mayor of the Florida suburb in 2000.