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Recognizing Urban music

30 Nov 2005

The 7th Annual CUMA (Canadian Urban Music Awards) ceremony was held at the Kool Haus this year with some of Canada’s biggest stars coming out to show their support for urban music. The two-day event put on by the Urban Music Association of Canada (UMAC) along with sponsors FLOW 93.5 and SUN TV recognized the achievements made by Canada’s best urban acts.

UMAC was established in 1996 as the voice of Canada's urban entertainment scene. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to building the domestic and international profile of Canadian urban music. With Canadian artist now breaking onto the international scene it was only fitting that the CUMA’s turned out to be a star studded occasion.

Everyone from Kardinal Offishall and the Black Jays, to Little X and K-os as well as WWE wrestler Trish Stratus provided a pleasurable evening for the audience.

From South of the border R&B crooner Ginuwine, rapper C L Smooth as well as Qudus (MTV VJ) came to show their support. The evening was hosted by comedian Russell Peters whose antics left you breathless and shaking with disbelief, it all began with rousing presentation from Dwayne Morgan and Fito Blanko.

Jully Black brought the house down with her heartfelt rendition of “Living in the Ghetto” and though she didn’t take the R&B Recording of the year, it certainly was one of the toughest categories of the night and is a promising sign for the future of R&B in Canada. Divine Brown, was the lucky winner and took home awards for R&B recording of the year for the song “Old Skool Love” as well as New Artist of the Year

Other Big winners at this year’s Canadian Urban Music Awards were K-os, who walked away with Songwriter of the Year and Fan’s Choice Award, presented by FLOW 93.5 morning show hosts Jemeni and Mark Strong.

Mr. X took home the award for Music Video of the Year for directing Keshia Chanté’s video for “Does He Love Me”. His sage advice to Canada’s up and coming urban acts was “to find your sound, ATL has a sound, New York has a sound, establish your own sound.”

The evening’s highlight was the special achievement award presented to Canadian idol judge Farley Flex. The award recognized his tireless commitment to promoting urban music from his earlier work with Maestro Fresh Wes to his work on Canadian idol. Idol winner Kalen Porter also paid to tribute to Farley. Farley is not planning on slowing down, expressing that he intends to do some work in film as a producer, he also encourages young artist to have passion in whatever it is they are pursuing.

Kardinal Offishall closed out the evening’s celebration with a performance that kept the crowd cheering for more.

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