One876 reggae news feed reports that dancehall artist Mavado (a.k.a. David Brooks) was charged with two counts of shooting with intent and illegal possession of a firearm, but later offered bail after he appeared in court. Mavado was arrested Wednesday, March 24 by detectives assigned to the Major Investigations Task Force when he showed up for questioning in connection with a shooting incident on July 27, 2007 last year in St. Andrew.

Meanwhile, Mavado tour dates in Europe with Bounty Killer have been canceled due to complaints from the British gay rights group Outrage. Concerts were axed in Birmingham and Bradford, but a third concert, planned for London, did take place. Promoting hate is a criminal offense in the United Kingdom, but prosecuting offenders is usually difficult, with prosecutors having to decide what constitutes freedom of speech and what is considered to be inciting a person to commit a crime of violence. Outrage leader Peter Tatchell said that a concert in Essen, Germany was canceled and that other German concert dates are now in doubt.

Honey-voiced reggae superstar Maxi Priest has joined Brimingham, U.K. band UB40, filling the shoes of recently departed lead vocalist Ali Campbell. The band has decided to carry on, despite an acrimonious split from Campbell after disagreements with the band’s management. The collaboration with Maxi Priest, who is expected to form a more permanent alliance, has already yielded a recording of Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff” and is expected to form half of a double a-side single soon. The new project marks a second career peak for Priest, who is already one of reggae most successful crossover pop stars.

He’s made riddims for Sean Paul, Sizzla, and even Keyshia Cole, now Jamaican mega-producer Donovan “Don Corleon” Bennett has showcased his work on American TV. Bennett was featured guest musician on the CW reality television series, Girlicious. The show featured Bennett’s song “Leave You Alone,” with music by Don Corleon and lyrics by Pressure, who just saw the release of his second album, Love & Affection (VP). Corleon’s track was used as the centerpiece in a vocal expression challenge for the girls, who are competing to become the next Pussycat Dolls.

A petition is circulating to make Bob Marley Jamaica’s eighth National Hero. Marley was awarded Jamaica ‘s third highest honor, the Order of Merit (OM), just prior to his death in 1981. Despite previous appeals by the Marley Family and a host of posthumous awards, Marley has not been accorded national hero status, the country’s highest honor.

Jazzie B from Soul II Soul has compiled Jazzie B Presents School Days (out April 28 on Trojan Records), a selection of tracks that reflect his early days spinning for the Jah Rico reggae soundsystem. Also on April 28, Trojan will release veteran reggae singer and Massive Attack collaborator Horace Andy’s new album, On Tour. Andy performs at London’s Jazz Cafe on April 9.

Black Uhuru frontman Mykal Rose will release a new album called Great Expectations through OJ 36 Records. The first single is called “Mama Africa.” Rose has recently been in the number one single position with the track “Shoot Out;” there’s now a remix of the song and video that features Junior Gong.

Dancehall legend Supercat is back and performing live in Miami in May Rocker’s Island Entertainment. Massive B Sound System and Rebel Mix will stage the Best Of The Best 2008 on Sunday, May 25 at Bicentennial Park. Along with Supercat, performers will include Buju Banton, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Sizzla, Junior Reid, Barrington Levy, Tarrus Riley, Mavado, Etana, Dean Frasier, Assassin, Serani, Bling Dawg, Shifta, Demarco, Bugle, Screechy Dan, and hosts by Bobby Konders, Jabba, DJ Khaled and Tony Matterhorn. Doors open at 2 p.m. and ends at 11 p.m.

Pictured above: Maxi Priest with UB40. Photo by Akico Kana.

Out A Round Top Ten Singles Chart

1. Busy Signal “Pon Di Edge” (Star Kutt)
2. Mavado “Gangsta Life” (John John)
3. Mykal Rose “Shoot Out” (John John)
4. Demarco “Duppy Know Who Fi Frighten” )John John)
5. Beenie Man “Wine Gal” (TJ Records)
6. D’Angel “Blaze” (Arrif Cooper)
7. Erup “Click My Finger” (Truck Back)
8. Queen I-Frica “Daddy Don’t Touch Me There” (No Doubt)
9. Serani feat Bugle “Doh” (Daseca)
10. Demarco “Fallen Soldiers” (Star Kutt)