The outlook seems to be getting brighter for embattled Dancehall/Reggae megastar, Busy Signal as not only will the singjay secure freedom within a matter of months, he could also perform in the country where’s he’s currently incarcerated.
Busy Signal was sentenced to six months in prison for absconding bail during a hearing in the American state of Minnesota last week Friday. The charge of absconding bail was in relation to a 2002 court case where the prominent entertainer faced a drug charge.
However, with time served considered by the presiding judge, Donovan W. Frank, Busy Signal will only spend an additional two months in the Minnesota-based Sherbourne County Jail and, as a result, the prominent entertainer faces a November 21 date when he’s scheduled to be released from prison.
According to Busy Signal’s manager, Shane Brown, in an interview with Billboard.com just minutes after the sentencing, the Nah Go Jail Again singer feels relieved that he’ll be back on the streets very soon.
“Busy felt like he was in prison for the last 10 years; all he could think about when he went to sleep was this situation so today is a milestone for us because now he is mentally free,” Brown said.
Originally, Busy Signal, who pled guilty to a charge of failure to appear in court in July after being extradited from Jamaica, was potentially facing a prison term of anywhere between 12-18 months. However, Brown credits the diligence of Minnesota-based attorney, William Mauzy, who represented the artiste during his legal proceedings.
A week before last Friday’s sentencing, Mauzy flew to Jamaica where he filmed a series interviews with Busy Signal’s grandmother, pastor and teachers at the artiste’s alma mater, Brown’s Town High School where he furnished the school’s computer lab in 2009. Those interviews, as well as a sit-down with Reggae legend, Marcia Griffiths were compiled into a DVD testimonial which also included footage of Busy Signal’s performance at a concert in Gambia two years ago (featuring a crowd of 70,000 people) as well as his appearance at RETV’s High School Tour last year where he spoke to a group of students about abstinence of sex and HIV awareness.
Mauzy then submitted this compilation to the judge in Busy Signal’s case, who reviewed the material and, according to Brown, was left impressed by what he witnessed.
“The judge was really impressed with what Busy has done with his life in the past 10 years since becoming an artist, the fact that he has never been in trouble with the law in Jamaica, and he took those things into consideration before handing down the sentence,” Brown intimated.
“The judge wants him to do more community service work in Jamaica and we have established the Busy Signal Foundation, which will assist in the educational needs of underprivileged children. The judge also wants him to enjoy the freedom to pursue his career, so it’s important he keeps doing music of substance like his last album.”
Meanwhile, Busy Signal, who will have 45 days to leave the United States once he’s released this November, could be afforded the opportunity to perform in the country as the entertainer hopes to craft a series of concerts and promotional ventures to help push his new, highly-acclaimed album, Reggae Music Again.
Shane Brown will consult with Mauzy and Judge Frank to determine Busy Signal’s eligibility for working in the U.S. following his release from prison. Should permission be granted, Busy could schedule concerts in New York and Miami, marking the first time that the Come Over singer has ever performed in the country.
“Since Friday’s sentencing, we were offered 20 shows by a US promoter,” Brown said.
“America is a very important market for reggae artists and with this sentencing, it opens the door for Busy to try to come back and be heard by a wider audience.”