Wátina has been included in The Observer Music Monthly's list of the "Top 50 Albums of the Decade". The list puts Palacio alongside artists such as Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Amy Winehouse, Eminem, Johnny Cash and Tom Waits. The Observer writes “Conceived as a tribute to the threatened culture of the Garifuna people of the Caribbean, the late Palacio's masterpiece beguiled everyone who came across it.”
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In 2007, Wátina became one of the most critically acclaimed recordings of the year in any genre. Perhaps the most unanimously revered world music album in recent memory, Wátina appeared on dozens of Best of the Year lists in major media outlets around the globe and was roundly praised in glowing terms. These best-of lists put an exclamation point on what had been an incredible year for Andy Palacio and the worldwide recognition of Garifuna music. In November, 2007, Palacio became the first Caribbean and Central American artist to be designated as an UNESCO Artist for Peace. He received the prestigious WOMEX Award in October, 2007 which was co-awarded to Ivan Duran. In September, 2007 Palacio was conferred the Order of Meritorious Service by the Prime Minister of Belize. Wátina was also nominated for the influential BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards. On January 19, 2008, Palacio passed away suddenly, much to the shock of his family, friends and fans around the world. Thanks to Wátina, Palacio’s legacy lives on, and at home in Belize, the international success of the album has sparked a revival of Garifuna music among a new generation.
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