By Baldwin S. A. Howe

On Friday September 12, 2008, this writer, representing Reggae Times Magazine, went to the Olympia Crown Hotel situated on Molynes Road.  I, along with other members of the national media corps were invited to the venue to experience the launch of the enigmatic L.A. Lewis’ much hyped new single, ”The Greatest Queen” (a musical tribute to Queen Elizabeth II).  Although I had an official invitation, I non-the-less had some apprehension on approach to the event as the stipulations of a $37,000.00 entrance fee to non-invitees and an all-white dress code leaves one to wonder what to really expect.

 As it turned out, the event went very well with a large gathering packed into the conference room of the Olympia Crown Hotel.  Almost all, with the exception of a few, were dressed in full white.

 The evening’s programme did not seem to have a scripted format, and as such, seemed just a bit disorganized.  Despite that, the event went quite well. 

L. A. Lewis took to the stage several hours later than the scheduled time and formally introduced the song with much fanfare.  He told the audience that his, “The Greatest Queen”, song is a conscious effort to salute the work and achievements of the Queen Elizabeth II.

 “Yeah man, big up the Queen….She is the greatest ever, she gives to the rich and the poor.”  He stated.

 “Y’know, this is the first time…anybody a go hear the Queen’s voice in one song, this a go down into history.”   Lewis said.

 The sensational hype that the self styled, “7star General”, L. A. Lewis was able to generate in regards to the launch of the “The Greatest Queen” single seemed to border on the ridiculous to almost impossible to the general public.  Even L. A. Lewis himself seemed to have had some reservations regarding the successful outcome of the planned event.  During his introduction speech he said: “When I said it will cost $37,000.00 to come in, I never thought it would be this overfull, but yu’ know, you are my VIPs still.   Special guests at the ceremony included, master percussionist, Bongo Herman, Miss Jamaica World 2006, Sara Lawrence; female deejay sensation, Ruffi Ann and comedians Ity & Fancy Cat among others.

 Whatever shortcomings the formal aspect of the launch showed up were however later erased by the performances that took place afterwards.  The first, and probably the  high point of the evening’s performances was given by Bongo Herman, who came on stage dressed in a all-white suit and introduced his act by emulating Usain Bolt’s signature pose.  His entire performance was of a high, professional standard, which received a loud and sustained applause from an energized audience.

 Other guest acts, which followed were Lady Marsha who performed Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly.”  She also had the audience rocking, cheering and singing along.  The internationally acclaimed baritone-tenor opera singer, Dr. Kurtis Watson, also gave a good performance.  His act preceded comedians Ity and Fancy Cat, who used the opportunity to register a few jokes at L. A. Lewis’ expense.  They noted the fact that

L. A. Lewis, whose most significant contribution to his popularity is the painting up of his name on walls island wide; even had his name painted on the inside panel of a plane on which they were passengers en route to Florida, in the U.S.  It said: “L. A. Lewis Was Here.”

 One could not conclude this piece on the launch without stating the fact that during the break in performances several beautiful female models representing

The Alicia Models, paraded around the room dressed in some beautifully designed bathing suits.  After the performances, Gee-Fuss, a senior selector of the Stone Love Movement sound provided dancing music for the large gathering to dance to.

 L. A. Lewis, in closing his presentation, thanked the patrons and media corps and informed all that the entire proceeds from the launch as well as the sales generated from “The Greatest Queen“ single will be donated to charity.


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