Come February 5th, Entertainment interests will again converge on the Gardens of the jamaica Pegasus hotel for the 2009 renewal of the Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) Awards.

Dubbed "the red carpet gala event of the entertainment calendar" THIS venture,NOW IN IT'S FIFTH YEAR, takes on added significance IN 2009 given the renewal of the Reggae Month observances in February.

Conceptualizer and organizer of the EMEs, HOT 102 FM's host Richard "Richie B" Burgess, said the venture was born out of a need to stimulate growth and improvement in the Jamaican music and entertainment fields by recognizing the best of the annual output. "We have a vested interest in this industry, and so we want to be a part of positive developments in the entertainment business and encourage our entertainers to greater effort, especially as we seek to keep Jamaican music and entertainment visible and impactful in the global marketplace."

Burgess added that this year, The public will for the first time be allowed to influence winners as text votes as well as votes via the Internet - through the newly constructed website WWW.EMEAWARDS.COM - will be accepted. This in addition to the points gained based on performance of the nominees in the weekly Jamaica Music Countdown. The list of performers at this gala red carpet event and the full list of nominees in over 30 categories will be made public in a few days time and voting will be allowed until the cut-off date of Saturday, January 31.

Burgess further advised that with increased anticipation, the preparations for the awards is intensifying, and that the organizers are making every effort to put on on an awards show of the highest standard.

A special Friend of Reggae award will be conferred on R&B superstar John Legend and hip-hop ace, Missy Elliott this year. Last year's big overall winners included 'dancehall king' Beenie Man and Tarrus Riley.