The Big Stage
The rebirth of the Pop and Variety Contest now renamed The Big Stage in 2014 reflects the commitment of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission to develop, showcase and preserve the creative talents of Jamaicans. The staging of the Pop and Variety Contest was a part of the JCDC’s effort in the 1960s to promote ska, Jamaica’s first expression of popular music, the people’s music as well as to keep mento alive. In recognizing and promoting popular music, the contest was developed and implemented sometime in the 1970s. It was also an outlet for many Jamaicans from all walks of life to display their creative and diverse talents. For many, it was the source of education and general guidance to penetrate the popular music and by extension the entertainment industry. There were many noted individuals who contributed to the development of the programme including the late cultural activist, radio talk show host and musicologist, Tony Laing. Many prominent entertainers entered this competition. Some of these individuals included: Lt. Stichie, Tony Rebel, Yellow Man, Pinchers and Pliers and gospel sensation Papa San.
First Big Stage Winner: An excited and elated Tashauna ‘Shauna’ Williams after being announced the first Big Stage National winner at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre on Sunday. July 20, 2014. JCDC Board Chairman Aston Cooke presents the award.