Christopher Ellis

Still reveling in the success of his "Still Go A Dance" single that celebrated the love of music and culture, soulful crooner Christopher Ellis has once again teamed up with multi-Grammy producer Damian Marley. This time, the two are collaborating on a touching lover's rock ballad titled “Flame Against The Wind”. "This one is very personal and deep," says Christopher who chose to let the meaningful lyrics of the song speak for itself. "How can the two of us still be in love and manage to maintain when sometimes it flicker and dim through thicker and thin our love will never go out." Produced by Damian 'Jr Gong' Robert Nesta Marley and co-written by Christopher himself, and Jr Gong, “Flame Against The Wind” cadence and melody will undoubtedly strike a chord with the listeners with its soulful music and touching lyrics. {"preview_thumbnail":"/sites/default/files/styles/video_embed_wysiwyg_preview/public/video_thumbnails/4AAe5or6bkM.jpg?itok=tkftc0i2","video_url":"","settings":{"responsive":1,"width":"854","height":"480","autoplay":0},"settings_summary":["Embedded Video (Responsive)."]} Like a Flame against the wind Burning in doubt yes Like a Flame against the wind Fighting the darkness Like a Flame against the wind We’ll be against all the odds yes Along with the Rocksteady sound ingrained in his genetic code, Christopher has successfully and expertly discovered and nurtured his own sound that still evokes yesteryear feelings but fits the times. “Music is my passion, and though Reggae/Rocksteady is where I was born, I just want to make music! and I very much look forward to making music of all genres, for people all over the world.” Released on May 29by Ghetto Youths International, Christopher Ellis “Flame Against The Wind” is available on all major streaming platforms and digital outlets including itunes.The Official Lyric Video drops today June 4 at 12 pm (Barbados time).

Shatta Wale

A reggae album featuring the first African dancehall and reggae singer as the headliner will drop this week. The album, Tropical House Crusie to Jamaica: The Reggae Collector’s Edition, features Ghanaian dancehall and reggae singer Shatta Wale. Produced by Contractor Music Group from Jamaica, the album alsofeaturesa list of top-selling artistes from Jamaica such asCapleton, Sizzla, Beenie Man, Vybz Kartel, Elephant Man, Don Yute, Mojo Morgan, Wayne Wonder, Singing Melody, Peetah Morgan, Tommy Lee Sparta, SkilliBeng, Voicemail and Royce Da59. The release date for the 25-track album is June 5. Executive producer Sean ‘Contractor’ Edwards says the album is a high-intensity reggae vibe that is sure to captivate reggae lovers around the globe. The first staging of the album twoyears ago hit number one for four weeks straight on Billboard’s Number One album, then spent another nine weeks on Billboard’s Top 10. “I am very thankful to the reggae fans of Africa, in particular Ghana.We made Shatta Wale, the artist from Ghana as the face of the project to open up the African market and the decision has paid off," Edwards says. Shatta Wale, real nameCharles Nii Armah Mensah,isa Ghanaian-born producer and reggae-dancehall musician. Waleis well known for his performance in Beyoncé’s Lion King Album launched last year. He’s also known as the African Dancehall King and says this album is one of the highlights of his career, solidifying the bridge that reggae joins between Africa and the Caribbean. "I feel so honoured getting fans from all over the world, especially the Caribbean cause that is one of the greatest places that I want to live. I tell peopleI have a blood when it comes to the Caribbean, I believe my destinationis to be one of thoseartistes who have blown up inthe world coming from the Caribbean. I believe people from the Caribbean are my brothers and sisters and I have that connection with them. Me having fans from the Caribbean makes me feel so honoured," he says. Wale notes that Africa is open and receptive to reggae music and he’s excited about the album’s launch. Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica: the Reggae Collective Editionwas producedby a collective that includes Contractor Music Group, Golden Child Records, Beatbopper Records, and Kohanim Records.

Getting married during a global pandemic isn't any little girl's dream, but Shontelle Simone Farrell nee Bridgeman wasn't going to let COVID-19 rain on her parade. Initially, the wedding was slated for June 27, but the couple decided to bring the date forwardto April 16. However, after the Barbadian Government implemented a curfew on March 27, the worried couple threw caution to the wind and decided their wedding would be held within the next seven days. On April 3 at 1 pm, the same day the government imposed a 24-hour curfew after recording 46 positive cases of the novel coronavirus, Shontelle and Anthony Leroy EmmanuelFarrell tied the knot. What was supposed to be a glorious occasion surrounded by friends, family and laughter was muddied by the outbreak. The attendees were limited to the priest and two witnesses who helped to live stream the wedding on Facebook.Whatever fairytale wedding they imagined for themselves had been dismantled by the reality of COVID-19. "You are supposed to be excited but everything is so close so it was mixed emotions.I am a planner, I like to cross every T, dot every I, but I was just walking through that week and the entire process was challenging because it was either postpone the wedding until we don’t know when which wouldn’t work for me, or bring it up and let us do something private and that was not the initial plan," Shontelle told Loop News. The six days before the wedding were a blur for the couple who rushed 'here, there and yonder' to do final preparations. Shontelle's dress wasn't finished and Anthony still didn't have a suit, but against the oddsthey successfully pulled ofa last-minute attempt. The glaring absence of their friends and family on their big day could be felt, especially for Shontelle who wanted her grandmother to see her on her wedding day. "I would have been raised by my grandmother from three months old so she would have been that person even during this entire process that was there for me so imagine being raised by someone from three months old and then on one the most important days of your life having to make a decision. She is over 70 and she is high risk so it was about saying 'okay, I want you to be there but I don’t want you to be out'," Shontelle explained. Anthony also lucked out becausehis family members from overseas were unable to make the wedding, but he was able to feel their presence and love via their comments and reactions during the Facebook Live event. "My family is large so the challenge was not having my family to share the moment so I can see their face and laugh and hug and kiss and share stories about when I was small. Every family gets together is like an event so not having that was a downside of it," he said. "When I got home and I watched it and I saw the comments, I felt my friends and family were part of the journey as well. Watching reading the comments, I felt like they were a part of it. It was a lot of jokes in the comment section and I could imagine what it would have like if they were physically there with us." During the two-month shutdown, the newlyweds haven't been able to see their family members and it has also dampened their honeymoon plans. Shontelle and Anthony were ecstatic about vacationing on the beaches of Panama in June/July, but as COVID-19 would have it, those plans are postponed. The positive of the global pandemic and shutdown is that it made them closer. Not only were they living together for the first time but due to the island-wide shutdown, they would be together 24/7. Shontelle and Anthony are insurance advisors for Guardian Life of The Caribbean and their 'alone' time is limited to evenings after work. Battling a hectic and busy work schedule, working from home has given them time to enjoy each other's company. "I don’t think if things were normal or the country had open back up earlier, the amount of time we spent with each other would have been the same. I don’t think we could have done that because our jobs are very busy and time-consuming. This is my first time since secondary school that I had a vacation and I did nothing," Anthony revealed. Shontelle echoed: "The shutdown brought us closer. It would have been the first time for us living together and it allowed us to get through some of those teething challenges because we were always in the same space." With the country reopening, the couple is looking forward to hosting a celebratorybarbeque or 'potluck' for family and friends later this year.

103-year-old COVID-19 survivor Jennie Stejna throws back a Bud Light for old time's sake.

“Feisty” is the way Shelley Gunn describes her 103-year-old grandmother. That quality shone through earlier this month when the Massachusetts woman’s beloved centenarian grandmother, Jennie Stejna, came back from the brink of death to survive a bout with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus that has ravaged older Americans. WATCH as Stejna takes a sip of her Budd's Light beer. (Video courtesy of WWLP) “She always had that feisty fighting spirit,” Gunn, who recently moved to Easton from Washington state, told The Enterprise of Brockton. “She didn’t give up.” Three weeks ago, Stejna was the first person to test positive for the coronavirus at her nursing home, Life Care Centre of Wilbraham. The outlook was grim. As Stejna’s condition worsened, Gunn, her husband, Adam, and 4-year-old daughter, Violet, called to say what they thought were their final goodbyes. Gunn thanked Stejna for everything she had done for her. When Adam Gunn asked if Stejna was ready to go to heaven, she replied, “Hell, yes.” But on May 13, Gunn got the news that Stejna had recovered. “We’re truly very thankful,” Gunn said. To celebrate, Stejna enjoyed an ice-cold beer, something she loved but hadn’t had in a long time, Gunn said. Her beer of choice? BudLight. Stejna has two children, three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Devastation in Indonesia (FILE)

The Arch Cot tragedy of 2007was referencedby a parliamentarian seeking to make the point that when catastrophes strike in Barbados, funds need tobe paid to those wronged or impacted, and in a timely manner. Speaking to the fact that "there is a requirement laid at the doorstep of insurance companies in Barbados" to have their own Catastrophe Reserves, Bishop Joseph Atherleyquestioned if the insurers are indeed managing such a Reserve. [related node_id='dc539fe2-8a74-4c34-bb5d-96f5b767c712'] He said: "There is a Catastrophe Reserve Fund to be held by insurance companies in Barbados. "What is the level of compliance with respect to the Catastrophe Reserve Funds which insurance companies are obligated to hold in the event of a massive natural disaster . . .and for which they have some responsibility,liability in terms of responding?" As the House debated the Catastrophe Fund Bill, he said that he was not asking this question for asking a question sake. The Opposition Leader raised thequestion in what he deemed "a serious manner", adding: "What level of compliance or no-compliance if any isthere at the level of insurance with respect to that disaster reserve, catastrophe reserved requirement if it still exists, which I would imagine that it does?" Speaking to complainants' not getting their owed sums after judgements are rendered, he even called out government as a possible guilty party when it comes to such. "I remember not too long ago, in relative terms, a major incident, tragedy, in Arch Cot, Britton's Hill and there was so much attention given to the matter at that time driven by a sense of compassion, empathy. The national interest in the matter was high. Government responded with its full force and [I] know much of that was embroiled in legal issues subsequently. "Mister Speaker, I have not heard anything to the date as to whether full settlement was ever given to that matter? "I mention that in this context, [because] we have a situation in Barbados where sometimes and often so, judgements are rendered, liability is incurred based on those judgements but there is no enthusiastic and early followthrough. And situations like that are just left to lie. Peoplesuffer." He said that better needs to be done on the part of government so as to set the proper example too. "It would have to be admitted that government and I don't speak of the Barbados Labour Party government or former Democratic Labour Party government, I speak of government as an institution, we would have to admit that even government inBarbados has been guilty of thatwhen they have owedmonies to people, and judgements have been rendered and payment isnot followed through on." Therefore, with the 2020 Hurricane season upon us and two named storms out of the way already, he said that these are the type of questions that need to be answered: "I wonder how much of that exists out there in the insurance community." Editor's note: An earlier version of this article had 2017 instead of 2007.

Mark Prescott, Vice President – Insurance Operations at Sagicor General Insurance Inc.

Sagicor General Insurance is calling on homeowners to safeguard their investments 'like yesterday', as the 2020 hurricane season is already underway. Forecasts speak to18 named storms for this year’s hurricane season, andSagicor General Insurance’s Vice President – Insurance Operations Mark Prescott is strongly advising property owners to ensure that their homes, shops andstoresare adequately protected against potential losses. So far, two named storms formed during May - Arthur and Bertha. [related node_id='e1ceecc3-2036-41c5-9c9f-9fa2ae6a9bed'] Warning Barbadians not to forget the destruction inflicted by storms throughout the Caribbean’s history, most recently the devastation left behind after HurricanesHarvey, Irma, Maria and Dorian, he said: “This year’s hurricane season is expected to be 25 per centmore active than what had been experienced from 1950 to 2019, with eightof the named storms forecast to be hurricanes and at least threeexpected to be Category 3 or higher”, said Prescott. “Property owners should, therefore, take heed and seek adequate financial backing for what is typically their single largest investment.” According to a press release issued, Prescott stated that in addition to inspecting their property and taking the time to execute repairs to help it withstand the elements and reduce the potential for damage and destruction, owners should review their insurance policy to make sure all details are up to date and that the level of coverage is accurate. He said:“After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home or commercial property, the thought of having to use their own financial resources to repair, rebuild or replace due to storm damage is a daunting one. "Insurance, therefore, provides them with the peace of mind that if their structure were to indeed suffer the worst, they can have a home or an office to return to, thanks to Sagicor being there for them financially as we have been for our clients across the region for decades.” The Vice President also made the point that the value of insurance in the context of the upcoming hurricane season is even more critical at this time given the current state of affairs. “We are cognizant of the fact that many individuals have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we want to urge those who already have their properties insured to do their best to keep those policies in place. If they are experiencing financial difficulties, we encourage them to come to us, explain their situation and we will do our best to work with them. The worst possible thing that could happen to any of these individuals at this time is to experience significant damage or loss of property without the financial ability to repair, rebuild or replace.”