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Influential Reggae Musicians
(Click on individual Musician's Biography section to visit Musician's Home Page)
Abyssinians - Al Campbell - Baby Cham - Beenie Man - Black Uhuru - Bob Marley - Bounty Killer - Bushman - Cobra - Cocoa Tea
Cutty Ranks - Dennis Brown - Denroy Morgan - Don Campbell - Half Pint - Horace Andy - Garnet Silk - Gregory Isaacs
Jimmy Cliff - Kymani Marley - Courtney Melody - Morgan Heritage - Pinchers - Junior Reid - Sanchez - Screwdriver
Shabba Ranks - Sizzla - Sly & Robbie - Toots & the Maytals - The Wailing Souls - The Wailers - Wayne Wonder
Yellowman - Ziggy Marley
Throughout the history of music individual performers have had a major impact on the music scene. These influential/notable musicians have left their mark by expanding the envelope of their respective genres, either through technical proficiency, experimentation/exploration, or persona. The following list of notable/influential Reggae Musicians is by no means complete. The musicians listed are those that readily came to mind, and any additions to the list can be sent using the link at the bottom of the page. The individual home pages for the musicians listed can be reached by clicking on their name in the bio section.
Abyssinians - are a Jamaican roots reggae group, famous for their close harmonies and promotion of the Rastafari movement in their lyrics. The vocal trio was originally formed in 1969 by Bernard Collins, Donald Manning and Linford Manning. Their most famous songs are "Satta Massagana" and "Y Mas Gan", both of which are delivered partially in the Ethiopian language of Amharic. This language is sacred to Rastafarians as they believe the last Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, to be an avatar of God. Another crucial track is "Declaration of Rights", whose instrumental version (the "riddim") has been reprised many times during the years by many other roots reggae artists. 'Artist Discography'
Al Campbell - born August 31, 1954, Kingston, Jamaica, is a Jamaican reggae singer active since the late 1960s. Campbell's singing career began in church, where his father was a preacher, and Al would sing to raise funds. He went to school with Lloyd James (aka Prince Jammy) and formed a vocal group with friends as a teenager, called The Thrillers, who recorded in the late 1960s for Studio One. After briefly joining up with Freddie McGregor and Ernest Wilson, he went on to work with Prince Lincoln Thompson's Royal Rasses, and the Mighty Cloud band. Campbell then embarked on a solo career (also contributing vocals to two Heptones albums), and was a popular roots reggae singer during the 1970s, recording for producers such as Phil Pratt, Bunny Lee, and Joe Gibbs, and recorded at Lee Perry's Black Ark studio. His "Gee Baby" was a big hit in 1975 in both Jamaica and the United Kingdom. He adapted successfully to the early dancehall and lovers rock styles in the late 1970s and 1980s, working with producers such as Linval Thompson. Campbell's recording of "Late Night Blues" (1980) became a staple of blues parties. Campbell performed with the Stur-Gav sound system in the early 1980s. More recently he has recorded for King Jammy, Philip "Fatis" Burrell, and Mafia & Fluxy. In 1997, he joined Cornell Campbell and Jimmy Riley in a new version of The Uniques, the group releasing a self-titled album in 1999. 'Artist Discography'
Baby Cham - born Damian Beckett in 1979 is a Jamaican dancehall artist, famed for his 2006 single "Ghetto Story" from his major label debut album of the same name. He is currently signed to Atlantic Records, and was previously known as Baby Cham, until 2005. He is still called "Baby Cham" to his Jamaican fans and fans from around the world. Throughout his career, Cham has collaborated with many hip-hop and R&B artists such as Foxy Brown, Alicia Keys, Carl Thomas, Mims, and T-Pain. Cham is currently signed to Capitol Records, as of 11/12/08. 'Artist Discography'
Beenie Man - Anthony Moses Davis, born August 22, 1973, in Kingston, Jamaica is better known by his stage name Beenie Man. He is a popular reggae entertainer and a well established dancehall artist. Beenie Man was involved in the music industry from a young age when he like former popular reggae dancehall artist Yellowman, won the Tastee Talent contest during the 1980's in Jamaica. Only one year later (1981), when he was eight years old, he recorded a single, "Too Fancy", with record producer "Junjo" Lawes. By 1983, Beenie Man was recording with influential DJs, such as Dillinger and Fathead and released his debut album, The Invincible Beenie Man: The Ten Year Old DJ Wonder and the single "Over the Sea." After such a prodigious start the artist's career lost momentum in the middle of the eighties decade. Beenie Man continued performing and honed his craft beside the then dominant dancehall figures including Ninjaman, Admiral Bailey and Shabba Ranks. He found his artistic home at the Shocking Vibes studio where he continued to record singles with only moderate success towards the end of the decade. Partially as a result of prodding from his producers, Sly and Robbie, Beenie Man soon converted to the Rastafari movement. In 1994, he was signed by Island Records and released the critically acclaimed album "Bless". 'Artist Discography'
Black Uhuru - Black Uhuru, formed by Derrick "Duckie" Simpson, is a Jamaican reggae band probably best known for their hits "Shine Eye Gal", "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", "Sinsemilla", "Solidarity", and Grammy winner "What Is Life?". They were the first group to win a Grammy in the reggae category when it was introduced in 1985. They originally formed as "Black Sounds Uhuru". Uhuru is the Swahili word for freedom. The group was named by Stan "Roy Scientist" Palmer. The group has undergone several lineup changes, but 2008 has brought new life to Black Uhuru. Duckie Simpson has once again taken charge. Along with new manager Mario Lazarre of No Joke Entertainment, Black Uhuru are back in the studio recording a new album. Guest appearances of this new album include Latin superstars Aterciopelados and Jarabe De Palo. A 25th Anniversary Edition DVD of their "Live In London" concert is set for a June 2008 release on Nacional Records. 'Artist Discography'
Bob Marley - Robert "Bob" Nesta Marley OM, (February 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981), was a Jamaican musician, singer-songwriter and Rastafarian. He was the lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for the ska, rocksteady and reggae bands: The Wailers (1964 – 1974) and Bob Marley & the Wailers (1974 – 1981). Marley remains the most widely known and revered performer of reggae music, and is credited for helping spread Jamaican music to the worldwide audience.Marley's best known hits include "I Shot the Sheriff", "No Woman, No Cry", "Exodus", "Could You Be Loved", "Stir It Up", "Jamming", "Redemption Song", "One Love" and, together with The Wailers, "Three Little Birds", as well as the posthumous releases "Buffalo Soldier" and "Iron Lion Zion". The compilation album, Legend, released in 1984, three years after his death, is the best-selling reggae album ever (10 times platinum), with sales of more than 12 million copies. In 1963, Bob Marley, Bunny Livingston, Peter McIntosh, Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, and Cherry Smith formed a ska and rocksteady group, calling themselves "The Teenagers". They later changed their name to "The Wailing Rudeboys", then to "The Wailing Wailers", at which point they were discovered by record producer Coxsone Dodd, and finally to "The Wailers". By 1966, Braithwaite, Kelso, and Smith had left The Wailers, leaving the core trio of Marley, Livingston, and McIntosh. Bob Marley is perhaps the best known of all the reggae artists. 'Artist Discography'
Bounty Killer - born Rodney Basil Price June 12, 1972 in Kingston, Jamaica, is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall deejay. He is the founder of a dancehall collective, known as The Alliance. The last son in a family of nine, he grew up in a rough part of Jamaica in the neighborhood of Seaview Gardens. His mother stayed at home while his father went out to earn a living. While walking through a rough neighborhoods of Kingston, he was caught in a crossfire and hit by a bullet. He spent several days in the hospital, and it was during this time that he decided to change his name to Bounty Killa. Beginning in 1993, Bounty Killer became a household name in Jamaica due to his well received performance at the annual hardcore festival Sting held in the days after Christmas. Bounty Killer has tried to protect his individuality and this has caused many problems both on and off stage with various singers. Bounty Killer and Merciless got into a fist fight on stage during the Sting festival in 1997, and has made headlines throughout Jamaica for the rivalry with Beenie Man as both claim that the other has stolen each others act. 'Artist Discography'
Bushman - Dwight Duncan, is a Jamaican reggae singer born in 1973 in Spring Garden. He was raised in the rastafari culture from a young age. Born Dwight Duncan in the hilltop village of Spring Garden, St. Thomas, Jamaica. He was raised as a Rastafarian from the age of two. Dwight attended the Lysson All Age School, where his music teacher noticed his potential for music and nurtured him in his developing stages. Dwight then went on to Yallas High School where he continued to shine musically as a member of the school choir, a member of the Yallas drum core, playing the bass organ, also participating in numerous school concerts. He was also a member of the New Testament Church of God Choir, where he earned the name Ark Angel. Despite the ever-increasing recognition of his talent Bushman remains a humble, down to earth figure, who still lives in St. Thomas with his wife and children. Joying in the frequent trips to the lush bath fountain where they bathe in the hot mineral water. Living a life style of strictly ital foods and juices. Yes Bushman leads a humble but enlightening life in his birthplace parish of St. Thomas. Bushman with his natural talent for singing, is an outstanding artist carved from the same iritical musical tradition as Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Luciano (with whom he has a very close relationship), who he quotes as being his most dominant influences. With his dynamic lyrics, Superb showmanship and classic performances, the Rastafarian known as Bushman is an artist with which to hold a joy with, and a force to be reckoned with. 'Artist Discography'
Mad Cobra - born Ewart Everton Brown, Mar 31, 1968, Kingston, Jamaica, is a reggae musician. Brown was raised in the parish of St. Mary, Jamaica as a youngster, and returned to Kingston while a teenager. He began performing under his stage name, taken from G.I. Joe, while still in his teens. He now reside in greater portmore. His first single, 1989's "Respect Woman", was produced by his uncle, Tuff Gong engineer Delroy "Spiderman" Thompson. His next single, "Na Go Work", featured Tricia McKay, and caught the ears of producers Captain Sinbad and Carl Nelson. Together they released a string of hit dancehall singles, including "Shoot to Kill", "Merciless Bad Boy", and "Ze Taurus", which featured tough, gangsta rap-style lyrics in keeping with then-current trends.
Cocoa Tea - born September 3, 1959 as Calvin George Scott, Jamaica, is a Jamaican reggae dancehall singer, songwriter, and DJ. He was popular in Jamaica from 1985, but has become successful worldwide only since the 1990s. One of his most famous songs is "Rikers Island", which was later put into a dub version by Nardo Ranks entitled "Me No Like Rikers Island" (featured on Dancehall Reggaespanol) which was released the same year as the original Rikers Island. He also gained fame with the song "18 and Over". He gained notoriety in March 2008 after releasing a song titled "Barack Obama" in support of the U.S. Presidential candidate by the same name. 'Artist Discography'
Cutty Ranks - born Philip Thomas in Jamaica in 1965, is a reggae and dancehall artist. At the age of 14, he began his career as a reggae artist on sound systems such as Gemini, Rebel Tone, and Papa Roots. Early on in his dee jaying career he was influenced by Josey Wales. He joined Killamanjaro where he worked alongside Early B, Super Cat, Puddy Roots, and Little Twitch. During the 80s, Cutty Ranks' debut single "Gunman Lyrics" was recorded for Winston Riley's Techniques label. He also recorded such tracks as "Out Of Hand" and "Fishman Lyrics" with Riley and in 1990 he joined Donovan Germain's Penthouse label. In 1991, he released his first album entitled The Stopper, following this up with album Lethal Weapon in the same year, featuring singers such as Marcia Griffiths, Dennis Brown, Wayne Wonder, and Beres Hammond. His follow up album releases were From Mi Heart, and Six Million Ways to Die which was put out on Priority Records in 1996. Six Million Ways to Die included a hip hop remix of Ranks' song "A Who Seh Me Dun" which was voiced earlier over the Bam Bam riddim in 1992. In 2000, he released the album Back With A Vengeance produced by King Jammy. This album saw Ranks venture into other musical styles, including hip hop and dancehall. 'Artist Discography'
Dennis Brown - Dennis Emmanuel Brown (February 1, 1957 – July 1, 1999) was a Jamaican reggae singer. During his prolific career, he had recorded more than 75 albums and was one of the pioneers of lovers rock, a sub-genre of reggae. Legendary singer Bob Marley cited Brown as his favorite singer, and dubbed him "The Crown Prince of Reggae". His first commercially successful song internationally was "Money In My Pocket" on the Joe Gibbs label, and by the late 1970s, Brown had recorded and performed chart-toppers such as "Sitting & Watching", "Wolves and Leopards", "Here I Come" and "Revolution"; many featuring Sly and Robbie as the rhythm section. As the dancehall era of the 1980s arrived, Brown frequently recorded with King Jammy and Gussie Clarke. Trojan Records included Brown on their 'Jamaican Superstars' compilation (along with Gregory Isaacs, Delroy Wilson, Alton Ellis, John Holt and Pat Kelly), calling him the "perfect superstar". The compilation was released in 1998, the year before his death. 'Artist Discography'
Denroy Morgan - born in Bushwick Brooklyn and raised in Springfield Massachusetts, Denroy Morgan has been recording since 1965. He has recorded many different styles of music with many different producers and many different songwriters. Cool Runnings is proof of Denroy's versatility as a musical artist. Cool Runnings is a highway to take you on one of Denroy's musical journeys. It contains lyrics that some people may find funny, controversial, enlightening, uplifting, inspiring and giving a sense of hope. Denroy is the founder and leader of the group Morgan Heritage, who appear on the song, "She Does.". 'Artist Discography'
Don Campbell - Don Campbell was born in West London. His childhood experiences were influenced by his musical abilities; he had a natural talent for music. With such obvious potential, it was only natural that he should pursue a a career in the music industry. In 1981, at the age of 19, he joined the band ‘Undivided Roots’ as a lead singer, and this formally launched his musical career, which today has earned him the reputation for being one of the best vocalists on the reggae and popular music scene. In 1982, the band released their first chart success in the single ‘Party Nights’ from the album of the same name, and this achieved the no. 3 spot in the reggae charts. Don is a versatile artist who is best known for his contributions to the melodious sounds of lovers’ rock. He has a varied repertoire and is a proficient song writer and producer. He plays a variety of musical instruments and has contributed to numerous successful collaborations in the industry. He plays drums, bass, percussion, piano and just about any musical instrument worth playing!
Half Pint - born Lindon Roberts, but affectionately called Half Pint, he is a product of the West Kingston enclave of Rose Lane, a community which has produced the likes of Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Peter Tosh, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Toots Hibbert and a host of other international Reggae superstars. Half Pint's diminutive stature belies not only his vocal capabilities but also camouflages his huge on-stage presence, often described as no less than explosive and dynamic. Half Pint began singing in the school choir at All Saints' Primary School. Upon completion of his secondary education in 1976, he made a head-on thrust into Jamaica's music industry. 'Artist Discography'
Horace Andy - born Horace Hinds, 19 February 1951, Allman Town, Kingston, Jamaica, is a roots reggae songwriter and singer, known for his distinctive vocals and hit songs such as "Government Land", "You Are My Angel", "Skylarking" and a cover version of "Ain't No Sunshine" . He is a Rastafarian. Some of his lyrics on the subject of homosexuality have been considered controversial: Andy has stated that Trojan Records only agreed to release his album On Tour after removing a track containing the lyrics, ‘The Father never make Adam and Steve, he make Adam and Eve.’ A review by Stanford University radio station KZSU also characterized one of Andy's songs as homophobic. 'Artist Discography'
Garnett Silk - born Garnett Damoin Smith, April 2, 1966, Manchester, Jamaica, died December 9, 1994, Mandeville, Jamaica. At a very young age - when he was still in elementary school - Garnet dreamed of becoming an entertainer. Family and friends encouraged him and at the tender age of 12 Garnet Silk entered music business when he started deejaying as Little Bimbo with a local sound system called Soul Remembrance. Thus this youth discovered an outlet for his thought-provoking lyrics, an audience outside of his schoolmates and family, and there was no turning back. In the years that followed he got involved with other sound systems like Destiny Outernational, Pepper's Disco and Stereophonic. While working with these sounds Garnet developed his vocal and lyrical delivery further. Drawing inspiration from the words and music of Bob Marley and Burning Spear he started his recording career in 1985. It was actually dub poet Yasus Afari who hooked up Garnet with Delroy "Callo" Collins who produced his first single, "Problem Everywhere", then still under the name of Bimbo. 'Artist Discography'
Gregory Isaacs - born Gregory Anthony Isaacs, 15 July 1950, Fletchers Land, Kingston, Jamaica, is a Jamaican reggae musician. In the 1970s, he emerged as one of the most prolific and popular recording artists in Jamaica. He released a number of self-produced singles on his African Museum (JA) record label, formed in 1973 with Errol Dunkley. Much of Isaacs' output reflected the 'conscious' themes of roots reggae, but Isaacs was equally adept at interpreting more mainstream lovers rock material. His hits include "My Only Lover", "Sinner Man" and "Mr. Cop", recorded at Lee Perry's Black Ark Studio. Isaacs signed an international release contract with Island Records, which resulted in the release of the albums Night Nurse (1982), probably his best known album. In 2008, after some 40 years as a recording artist, Mr Isaacs release the new studio album "Brand New Me". The album received positive reviews from critics. 'Artist Discography'
Jimmy Cliff, OM - born James Chambers, 1 April 1948, Somerton District, St. James, Jamaica, is a Jamaican ska and reggae musician. He is best known among mainstream audiences for songs such as "Sittin' in Limbo", "You Can Get It If You Really Want", "Many Rivers to Cross" from the soundtrack to The Harder They Come which helped popularize reggae across the world; and for his cover of Cat Stevens' "Wild World" plus his cover of "I Can See Clearly Now" from the film, Cool Runnings. Cliff had difficulty gaining a broad audience; in fact, outside of the reggae world, he is probably best known for his film appearance in The Harder They Come. Even after a string of hits, the singer never quite managed to break into the mainstream, although in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he seemed poised for international stardom. The government of Jamaica honored Cliff on 20 October 2003, by awarding him The Order of Merit, (OM), the nation's third-highest honour, in recognition of his contributions to the film and music of Jamaica. 'Artist Discography'
Ky-mani Marley - born February 26, 1976, in Falmouth, Jamaica, is a Jamaican actor and reggae musician. He is the son of singer Bob Marley and table tennis champion Anita Belnavis. He moved to Miami when he was nine years old. Marley's first appearance as musician took place in 1996 when he recorded Like Father Like Son, an album consisting of cover versions of some of his father's songs. His next album, 1999's The Journey, received mass critical acclaim, and achieved relatively good sales. His 2001 album, Many More Roads, was nominated for a Grammy for best reggae album. He lost to his brother Damian's album, Halfway Tree. He is featured on the following albums: Young Buck's album Buck the World, on a track called "Puff Puff Pass", Afu-Ra's album Body of the Life Force, on a track called "Equality", and Ms. Dynamite's album A Little Deeper. He achieved even more success as a musician with a cover of Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue", in collaboration with The Fugees' Pras. He has also starred in several films, including Shottas in 2002, and as John the Baptist in Haven in 2004. Marley was the opening act for the 2007 Van Halen tour. He currently stars in BET J show Living the Life of Marley.Marley also is expected to play in many exploration films in the next few years. 'Artist Discography'
Courtney Melody - Courtney Melody was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica and began singing from when he attended school. In his early teens he started to work on a local sound system called Black Spider. He started to make a name for himself when he joined the mighty Stereo One sound system. It was Stereo One who released his first 45, called "Screechy Across The Border". This was a big hit internationally, and was soon covered by Little Kirk, who also released a version of it on the Ruddy's label from New York. Courtney then went to Winston Riley's Techniques label to voice "How Long Will Your Love Last" and "Exploiter". These were small hits, but his next effort "Bad Boy" in 1986 propelled this young singer into international dancehall stardom. After experiencing a motorbike accident, Courtney was forced to take a long break from the business, and inevitably his popularity waned. 'Artist Discography'
Morgan Heritage - is a reggae band formed by five children of reggae artist Denroy Morgan. Despite their relative youth, they have been referred to as "reggae royalty". Having grown up in their father's music studio in the U.S. the group, then consisting of eight of the children, made their first appearance at Reggae Sunsplash in Jamaica. They were subsequently signed by MCA and released their debut album Miracles in 1994. They have since criticized Miracles as being overly pop-influenced. After the release of "Miracles" the family moved to Denroy's homeland of Jamaica. In this period, three family members left the group. Once in Jamaica, Morgan Heritage began working with famed reggae producers Bobby Dixon and Lloyd James, resulting in the release of their critically acclaimed second album Protect Us Jah (1997), followed by One Calling (1998), and the spiritually-inclined Don't Haffi Dread (1999). They have released three compilation albums by "The Morgan Heritage Family and Friends", and a live album, Live in Europe!, recorded on their 2000 tour. Following the release of their 2001 album More Teachings... Morgan Heritage toured Europe again, and they have returned several times since. 'Artist Discography'
Pinchers - born Delroy Thompson, 12 April 1965, Jamaica, is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall artist. He released one album as a teenager in Jamaica for Blue Trac Records, before moving to the UK in 1985. In 1987, Pinchers gained fame with the single "Agony," from the album of the same name produced by King Jammy. In 1990 he had another hit, "Bandolero," which endures as probably his most remembered single, still a staple on the dancehall scene. He is the father of reggae artist Kemar Thompson. 'Artist Discography'
Junior Reid - Delroy "Junior" Reid, born June 3, 1965 in Kingston, Jamaica, is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall musician, best known for the songs "One Blood" and "Funny Man", as well as being the man that replaced Michael Rose as lead vocalist for Black Uhuru. Reid was born in the Tower Hill area of Kingston, and had a tough upbringing in the city's Waterhouse district, notorious for being one of the most dangerous places in Jamaica. It was there in the politically turbulent late '70s that he recorded his first-ever single "Speak the Truth" at the age of 13 for the late Hugh Mundell, released in Jamaica on Augustus Pablo's Rockers International label, and popular as an import single in the United Kingdom. UK label Greensleeves Records followed this with "Know Myself" in 1981. He then went on to form his own band, the Voice of Progress, and after a local hit with "Mini-Bus Driver" the group scored local success with an album of the same name. On November 18, 2007, Reid performed alongside Alicia Keys at the 2007 American Music Awards. Reid is also featured on a remix version of Alicia Keys' single "No One". He did a song with Lil Wayne called Ghetto Youths Rock. 'Artist Discography'
Sanchez - Born on November 30, 1964 in Kingston, Jamaica and christened Kevin Anthony Jackson, Sanchez grew up with his Mother, Father, two brothers and two sisters, in the Stony Hill and Waterford Communities under strong Christian principles. Sanchez soon began voicing for some of the top record producers in the business: Red Man, Winston Riley and Fattis Burrell. In 1987, Sanchez’s first single "Lady In Red" was released; soaring to the # 19 slot on JBC Radio record chart and that was very encouraging for young Sanchez. His first hit, the Winston Riley produced, 'Loneliness,' recorded in 1988, is still one of his biggest hits. In that same year, he was voted Singer of the Year, Best Up and Coming and Best New Artist by Rockers and Bins awards respectively. 'Loneliness' was also voted Song of the Year, and this led him to his first appearance at Reggae Sunsplash. On November 15, 2003 he was inducted in the International Gospel Hall of Fame and received the Governor's Cup for excellence at the Cairbbean American Gospel awards. 'Artist Discography'
Screwdriver - born Dalton Lindo in Saint James Parish in 1960, in the mid-1980s, Lindo travelled to Kingston, where he met and was encouraged in his musical career by Beres Hammond. Taking inspiration from the likes of Tenor Saw, Pinchers, Pliers, and Spanner Banner, he began recording in 1986, having hits with "We Rule", "Soundboy Killa", "Family Counsellor", and "Here I Come". He had a Jamaican number one single in 1989 with "No Mama (Sharon Yuh Pregnant?)", which became a major hit throughout the Caribbean. His success led to tours of Canada and the United States, and he eventually settled in Florida in the early 1990s. Further hits followed with "Reggae on Broadway", "Teach Dem", and "HIV", and in the mid-1990s he began to blend hip hop and R&B with dancehall, notably on the Calling Calling album from 1995. 1996 saw the release of Screwdriver's self-produced Let Me Remind You album. Screwdriver made a guest appearance on John Holt's 1997 album All Night Long. Shortly after the release of Let Me Remind You, Screwdriver began working on his next album, Prophecy, which was released in 2001. He said of the album: "Mi try do a little a everything on it...some ska, some jazz, a little merengue. Is a musician album". His latest album, 2007's Road Block mixes new rhythms with old ones and features a new version of his biggest hit, "No Mama", retitled "Sherron". 'Artist Discography'
Shabba Ranks - born Rexton Rawlston Fernando Gordon, 17 January 1966, Sturgetown, St. Ann, Jamaica, is a Jamaican dancehall recording artist. He stands among the most popular Jamaican dancehall artists of his generation. He was also one of the first Jamaican deejays to gain worldwide acceptance, and recognition for his 'slack' lyrical expressions and content, when "ridin' de riddim", (riding the rhythm). His gravel toned, rough-sounding voice made him instantly recognized worldwide. Ranks gained his fame mainly by toasting (or rapping) rather than singing, similarly to his dancehall contemporaries in Jamaica. A protégé of deejay Josey Wales, he arrived on the international stage in the late 1980s, along with a number of fellow artists including British vocalist Maxi Priest, reggae singers Cocoa Tea, Crystal, Michael Rose, and R&B singer Johnny Gill. Ranks also worked with Chuck Berry and American rappers KRS-One and Chubb Rock. He secured a major record deal with Epic Records in 1991. Having released five albums for a major label, Ranks remains one of the most prolific dancehall artists to break into the mainstream, which critics have noted as a testimony of his popularity. 'Artist Discography'
Sizzla - Sizzla Kalonji, or simply Sizzla is the stage name of Miguel Orlando Collins, (born 17 April 1976 in Saint Mary, Jamaica), a reggae musician. Sizzla subscribes to the Bobo Ashanti branch of the Rastafari movement. he 1980s witnessed a dancehall explosion, and with the music came the lifestyle: drugs, guns, and "slackness" (vulgarity). Formally adopting the Rastafari faith, with its no-holds-barred advocacy of repatriation, slavery reparations and the use of ganja, he joined the ranks of the Bobo Ashanti in the mid-1990s. Sizzla began to develop his own style whilst serving his musical apprenticeship with the Caveman Hi-Fi sound system. He has used his music as a vehicle for his message, kickstarting his recording career in 1995 with a release through the Zagalou label, he then teamed up with "Bobby Digital" Dixon for a series of singles. Extensive touring with fellow roots and culture artist Luciano followed, earning Sizzla notability. Jermaine Fagan, the same man who gave Buju Banton his first break, introduced Sizzla to top Jamaican saxophonist Dean Fraser, the musical director for Philip "Fatis" Burrell's Xterminator Family. 1996 marked an important turning point for Sizzla when he began working with Fatis. This union led to a run of successful singles and the release of Sizzla's debut album, Burning Up. 'Artist Discography'
Sly & Robbie - are one of reggae's most prolific and long lasting production teams. The rhythm section of drummer Lowell Dunbar (nicknamed Sly after Sly Stone, one of his favorite musicians) and bass guitarist Robert Shakespeare started working together in the mid 1970s, after having established themselves separately on the Jamaican music scene. They are humorously also sometimes referred to as Sly Drumbar and Robbie Basspeare. For example, the sleeve notes of Black Uhuru's Red album credit drums and syndrums to Sly Drumbar and bass guitar to Robert "Robbie" Basspeare. Sly and Robbie may well be the most prolific recording artists ever. One estimate is that they have played on or produced some 200,000 songs , considering that some of their riddims such as "Revolution" have been used on over 100 songs. The duo changed the face of reggae several times: in 1976, they introduced a harder beat called "Rockers", which quickly replaced the then prevalent "One drop" style, then introduced the "rub a dub" sound in the early 1980s. Sly and Robbie were important in developing the trend towards computer assisted music and programming in the mid 1980s. 'Artist Discography'
Toots & the Maytals - originally called simply The Maytals, are one of the best known ska and reggae vocal groups. Their sound is a unique, original combination of gospel, ska, soul, reggae and rock. Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, the leader of the group, was born in May Pen, Clarendon, Jamaica in 1945, the youngest of seven children. He grew up singing gospel music in a church choir, but moved to Kingston in 1958 at the age of thirteen. In Kingston, Hibbert met Henry "Raleigh" Gordon and Nathaniel "Jerry" McCarthy, forming in 1962 a group whose early recordings were incorrectly attributed to "The Flames" and "The Vikings" by Island records in the UK. The Maytals first had chart success recording for producer Clement "Coxsone" Dodd at Studio One. With musical backing from Dodd's house band, the legendary Skatalites, the Maytals' close-harmony gospel singing ensured success, overshadowing Dodd's other up-and-coming vocal group, The Wailers. After staying at Studio One for about two years, the group moved on to do sessions for Prince Buster before recording with Byron Lee in 1965. With Lee, the Maytals won the first-ever Jamaican Independence Festival Popular Song Competition with their original song "Bam Bam" (not to be confused with the Sister Nancy song of the same title) . However, the group's musical career was interrupted in late 1966 when Hibbert was arrested and imprisoned. Toots states that he was not arrested for ganja, but while bailing a friend. He also states that he made up the number 54-46 when writing 54-46 That's My Number about his time in jail. 'Artist Discography'
The Wailing Souls - are a Jamaican reggae vocal group still recording and performing live, whose origins date back to the 1960s. They have recorded with many top Jamaican record producers including Coxsone Dodd of Studio One, Lloyd "King Jammy" James, Henry "Junjo" Lawes, Delroy Wright and Freddie McGregor, as well as some early recordings at Bob Marley's Tuff Gong. The group is perhaps best known for two classic roots reggae songs, "War" and "Bredda Gravalicious" as well as the more pop influenced "All Over The World". Their album Firehouse Rock and its title track was one of their early 1980s successes. The band has recorded cover versions of a wide variety of songs, such as Kate and Anna McGarrigle's "Heartbeats Accelerating", The Who's "My Generation" , The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" and Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone". They also contributed a song for the soundtrack of the animated motion picture, Titan A.E.. Influenced by "War Deh Round a John Shop," Sublime altered the Wailing Souls song and renamed it Pawn Shop. The group has seen many lineup changes but the two singers ever present are Winston "Pipe" Matthews and Lloyd "Bread" MacDonald. 'Artist Discography'
The Wailers - was the backing band for Bob Marley & The Wailers from 1974 until Bob Marley's death in 1981. Bob Marley originally started singing with The Wailers, together with among others Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh. Following the demise of The Wailers, Bob Marley proceeded with his group Bob Marley & The Wailers, with the Wailers Band as the backing band, and the I Threes as backup vocalists. The Wailers Band consisted of among others bassist Aston "Family Man" Barrett and his brother, drummer Carlton (Carlie) Barrett, who had been members of Lee "Scratch" Perry's studio band, The Upsetters, with whom The Wailers had recorded some of their most notable songs. After the death of Bob Marley in 1981, the Wailers Band was led by Junior Marvin and Aston Barrett. Today the band continues to play live in concert, and in 2006 they played on 311's Summer Unity tour along with Pepper. Their Current lineup includes: Elan Atias on lead vocals, Aston "Family Man" Barrett on Bass, Keith Sterling on Keys, Drummie Zeb on Drums, Marcia Griffiths on background vocals. 'Artist Discography'
Wayne Wonder - born Von Wayne Charles, 26 July 1972, Kingston, Jamaica, is a Jamaican reggae / R&B artist. His first great hit was "Saddest Day" and he is also known for the title "Bonafide Love (Movie Star)" featuring Buju Banton. Wonder is most commonly known for the hit song "No Letting Go" released in 2003. The song is based on the Diwali riddim, which was also used by several other artists that year, such as Sean Paul, Lumidee and Missy Elliott. The single reached #11 in the U.S. and #3 in the UK. 'Artist Discography'
Yellowman - born Winston Foster in Negril, Jamaica in 1959, is a Jamaican reggae (rub-a-dub) and dancehall deejay, widely known as King Yellowman. He was popular in Jamaica in the 1980s, coming to prominence with a series of singles that established his reputation. Yellowman has had a substantial influence on the world of hip hop. He is widely credited for leading the way for the succession of reggae artists that were embraced by the growing hip-hop community in America during the 1980s. Yellowman is just one example of the influence that reggae stars had on America’s hip hop community. Though an incredibly successful and famous Dancehall deejay, Yellowman is recognized by his opponents as being both a controversial and sexist artist. Though this controversial pace has slowed over the years, he is still known as one of the most rude Dancehall toasters of his time. By the mid-1990s however, Yellowman released socially-conscious material, rising to international fame along with singers such as Buju Banton. Yellowman became the island's most popular deejay despite being albinistic. During the early 1980s, Yellowman had over 40 singles and produced up to five albums per year. His success is seen by some as a rags to riches story. 'Artist Discography'
Ziggy Marley - born October 17, 1968, Trenchtown, Jamaica, is a four time Grammy-winning Jamaican musician and leader of the band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. He is the oldest son of Rita and Bob Marley, the roots reggae singer. There are many theories and myths about where his nickname, "Ziggy", originated. The word from Ziggy himself is that he simply is not sure. Possibly, it is related to his zeal on the football field where he "zig zagged" around so much. In 1979, Ziggy and his siblings, Cedella, Stephen, and Sharon made their recording debut with their father, "Children Playing in the Streets". The Melody Makers, as the group came to be known, played occasionally for several years, including at their father's funeral in 1981. Their debut LP was Play the Game Right, which was a very pop-oriented album, earning Ziggy some derision from critics. The band's label, EMI, wanted to market Ziggy as a solo act, and so the Melody Makers moved to Virgin Records, where they recorded Conscious Party (1988, produced by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth). The album was critically and popularly successful, as was One Bright Day (1989) and Jahmekya (1991). Some of his most popular singles include "True To Myself", "Drive", "People Get Ready", and his US Top 40 and UK Top 20 hit "Tomorrow People". As the 1990s continued, the Melody Makers' sales slowly declined, beginning with Joy and Blues (1993) and continuing with Free Like We Want 2 B (1995). 'Artist Discography'
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