Reggae music originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s and has since become popular all over the world. Reggae shares its roots with jazz and rhythm and blues music, and has been very influential in the evolution of many modern genres including dub, hip hop, and drum and bass.
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Here are seven of the best reggae artists of all time, each of whom have helped define and popularize the genre around the world.
7) Spear of Burning
Burning Spear, also known as Winston Rodney, is undoubtedly one of the most enduring reggae artists of all time. He's still recording and giggling today, over 40 years old.
Burning Spear is 1975's 'Marcus Garvey', who praised the political activist of the same name, and who came to be known as the beginning of fear root reggae.
The album includes the title track as well as another underground hit, 'Slavery Days', two of Burning Spear's most popular hits of all time which are still regularly played on radio.
6) Steel Pulse
Steel Pulse was formed in Birmingham in 1975. They are a roots reggae band whose songs often focus on themes of social injustice and racism.
Despite their increasing popularity in the UK, Steel Pulse were often banned from playing live shows in the UK due to their controversial Rastafarian beliefs, but they still skyrocketed to international fame and became the first reggae band to ever play on The Tonight Show in the US.
They also became the first non-Jamaican band to win a Grammy award for Best Reggae Album, with their landmark album 'Babylon the Bandit' in 1987.
5) Peter Tosho
Peter Tosh adalah salah satu anggota asli Bob Marley’s Wailers , tetapi ia kemudian memiliki karir solo yang sukses setelah waktunya bersama the Wailers.
Peter Tosh mencontohkan budaya reggae, sebagai Rastafarian yang bangga dengan ikatan kuat dengan Jamaika. Salah satu hits terbesarnya adalah lagu ‘Legalize It’, yang semuanya tentang legalisasi ganja. Sayangnya, Peter Tosh terbunuh dalam perampokan bersenjata pada tahun 1987.
Born in Kingston in 1976, Sizzla has brought reggae into the 21st century. She has released 56 albums to date, with some of the most notable being 1997's 'Praise Ye Jah' and 2013's 'The Messiah', which brought Sizzla her first Grammy nomination. Some of his most beloved songs include 'Thank U Mamma' and 'I'm Living'. No other contemporary artist has managed to recreate the popularity of reggae throughout the '70s and '80s as Sizzla has today.
3) Toots and Maytals
Toots and the Maytals, who first got together in 1962, deserve special credit because their 1968 single 'Do They Reggay' was actually the first popular song to use the word 'reggae', and likely gave the genre its name.
Toots and the Maytals have bagged several Grammy award nominations throughout their career, and have been described as 'The Beatles to the Wailer's Rolling Stones'.
One of the group's biggest chart successes was the hit song 'Louie Louie', which was taken from their milestone album 'Funky Kingston'.
2) Desmond Dekker
One of the early reggae hitmakers was Desmond Dekker, who sang in his authentic Jamaican dialect on a number of reggae classics such as 'Israel' and 'It Miek'.
Dekker introduced Britain to Jamaican rough boy culture and paved the way for the likes of Bob Marley with his songs about the everyday struggles of Jamaicans.
Dekker recorded his most famous hits with Leslie Kong, who has produced his music since 1963. Together, they recorded some of his most influential albums including '007 Shanty Town' and 'Action!', both of which paved the way for reggae music both in the UK and abroad. overseas.
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1) Bob Marley
No list of reggae artists would be complete without Bob Marley at the top. Bob Marley rose to prominence with his backing band, The Wailers, starting in 1963.
Bob Marley's songs are peaceful but often political, with popular themes of love, redemption, and struggle. Bob Marley released countless timeless singles including 'I Shot the Sheriff', 'Redemption Song', and 'No Woman No Cry'.
Perhaps Bob Marley's most iconic album is 'Exodus', released during the birth of punk in 1977; the album contains some of his biggest hits including 'Three Little Birds', and 'One Love'.
Bob Marley and the Wailers also held one of the most legendary reggae concerts in history in the One Love Peace Concert, which took place in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1978, with the aim of ending the war between Kingston's rival gangs.
The concert featured some of the biggest names in reggae at the height of the genre's popularity, including Culture and Dennis Brown.