Tommy Lee Sparta Ready For Reggae Sumfest Days After Release From Prison

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: DanceHallMag


Tommy Lee Sparta is delighting in his recent booking for Reggae Sumfest 2023, days after his release from prison.

The Spartan Soldier took to his Instagram page on Tuesday, where he shared the Sumfest poster of himself, and told his fans to look out for him on Concert Night One (Dancehall Night) at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre, in his hometown Montego Bay, in July.

“Sumfest! Get ready for me fi take over the stage July 21st!” he captioned the post, which evoked cheers from Beenie Man, Macka Diamond, IOctane, Mr. Lexx, and producer Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor.

Reggae Sumfest Marketing Strategist Skatta Burrell also shared the post of Tommy Lee and, while encouraging Dancehall fans to “tag yuh friend dem weh yah bring to the music festival, declared: “Sumfest! Get ready for the Spartan Soldier fi take over the stage July 21st!”

Tommy Lee will perform on a line-up that includes Valiant and Chronic Law, who have also been confirmed to perform on Concert Night One. 

Their compatriots Minister Marion Hall, Richie Spice, Freddie McGregor and the Big Ship Crew, Kabaka Pyramid, and Morgan Heritage are set to perform on Saturday, July 22.

Tommy Lee was released from the Horizon Remand Centre last week Thursday, after serving three years for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.  

He has had a longstanding relationship with Reggae Sumfest, where he made his debut performance as a professional artist at Reggae Sumfest in 2012.

However, on July 16, 2015, the police had barred Tommy Lee from performing at the festival. 

News reports at the time were that police investigators had decided to bar the Gaza artist, while they probed an upsurge in violence in the community of Flanker in St. James a day prior.

Sometime after, the Constabulary issued a notification that they wanted to question the artist regarding criminal activities that were taking place in St. James.

At the time, however, his manager, Heavy D, had claimed that he thought the reason for the sudden questioning was because Tommy Lee publicly stated that he planned to sue for loss of earnings.

Sparta, whose given name is Leroy Russell, had at the time, taken to social media to rebuke the Police.

“The Police High command has refused me permission on stage,” he had told his fans, and then went on to point out that the actions of the constabulary was in breach of the Charter of Rights and the Constitution of Jamaica.

“How can the Police prevent a citizen from engaging in legitimate employment ?” he had said, declaring that his attorney would be filing an action in the Supreme Court for compensation.

In 2016, he made a cameo appearance after being called on stage by Beenie Man.

In 2017, Tommy Lee, returned to the Reggae Sumfest stage where he delivered a brief, but commendable performance as the closing artist, belting out songs such as Holding Out The Pressure, Spartan Soldier, Stacking Up The Paper and Buss a Blank.

Following the performance, which lasted for just 15 minutes, Tommy Lee had said that his set had ended abruptly, as he had been told that the show had been running over time and so he had to adjust.

“You have Westmoreland people, people from Trelawny, people from Kingston and everywhere in Jamaica who come out fi da show yah and come out fi me… A one likkle festival a year time and so the whole a Jamaica deh deh. Me feel good bout me performance although it did short. Me come fi perform but dem say do show a run long and me just deal wid it quick and fast,” he told The Star at the time.

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