Today, Wednesday, August 6, marks Jamaica’s 46th independence day! Read Prime Minister Bruce Golding’s speech to the nation for his take on where the country is at and going.

Hail up the rebel renaissance woman, Tanya Stephens. The multi-talented singer, actress, and admitted bookworm will release her first novel, titled Between These Shades, soon. Stephens is also prepping her seventh studio album, Infallible, slated for a fall release.

In case you needed any more proof that gyal run tings inna dancehall right now, just saddle up to the Ward 21-produced “Dem Gyal Sit’n,” an amazing two-part video riddim! “Dem Gyal Sit’n Part 1” features uprising DJs Timberlee, Tifa, Stacious, Natalie Storm, D’Angel, Cecile, Ms. Thing, Spice, Macka Diamond, Lady G, and Queen Paula.

Another woman breaking out big in Jamaica right now is MC Pamputtae–formerly known as Buju Fabulous, and famous for doing the intro on Tony Matterhorn’s hit, “Goodas Fi Dem.” Her early 2008 Good Yute-built tune, “It Good”, is bursting with witty lyrical skills and an unforgettable vocal style reminiscent of male DJ Nicodemus.

A dead body was discovered on the grounds of DJ Bounty Killer’s Norbrook, St. Andrew house. The performer, who is also wanted on a bench warrant for skipping his Sumfest indecent language court appearance, is said to be shocked upon finding the bullet-ridden corpse on his property.

Catch up on the latest reggae and dancehall flicks at RiddimJamaica. The site’s top-flight selection includes music videos by Jah Cure, Turbulence, Tony Rebel, and Mavado (an Olympic tribute), as well as a wonderful documentary clip about the late, great Roy Shirley.

Buju Banton’s new single, “You Ago Happen,” drops August 19 with two additional tracks. The Gargamel label EP is available as a 7” and in digital format.

Vocal trio the Mighty Diamonds are celebrating forty years in the recording business. The Diamonds, who got their start in Kingston’s Trench Town ghetto, are currently touring the U.S. and will play Colorado’s Reggae on the Rocks festival August 16. As member Fitzroy “Bunny” Simpson told the Gleaner: “It’s just more music and more of spreading the message. It’s not just a job and we don’t just do it for the money. This is our life”

Beres Hammond, Sly & Robbie, Steel Pulse, and Lee “Scratch” Perry are all touring the U.S. in August and September. Check your city’s local listings for details.

Club Dread welcomes New York’s top ranking rocksteady and vintage reggae sound system, Down Beat The Ruler, featuring Tony Screw, plus early-warm DJ Spliff Skankin of Massive Sound International on Saturday, August 9 at Pier 23 Cafe in San Francisco.

“Fallen Soldiers” artist Demarco performs live Sunday, August 24 at L.A.’s Jamaica Gold.

BBC 1Xtra Dancehall Charts
1. Mavado I’m On The Rock Baby G
2. Stephen & Damian Marley The Mission Baby G
3. Mavado So Special TJ
4. Mavado Money Changer Juke Boxx
5. Assassin Guide & Protect TJ
6. Tarrus Riley Marcus Teachings Cannon
7.Vybz Kartel Fatter Den A Pound Open Ear
8.Etana I’m Not Afraid VP
9. Busy Signal Tic Toc VP
10. Erup Click My Finger Truck Back