While many may not agree with my selection, these reggae artists have certainly contributed to the reggae fraternity in a major way and should get the respect they deserve. The music that these artists produced will never die, as the impact made are so great that we are still touched by their lyrics and sounds.
1. BOB MARLEY
Bob Marley was born Robert Nesta Marley on Feb. 6, 1945 in Saint Ann, Jamaica. His father, Norval Sinclair Marley, was a white Englishman and his mother, Cedelia Booker, was a black Jamaican. Bob Marley died of cancer in Miami, FL on May 11, 1981. Marley had 12 children, four by his wife Rita, and was a devout Rastafarian.
Bob Marley's father died when he was 10 years old, and his mother moved with him to Kingston's Trenchtown neighborhood after his death. As a young teen, he befriended Bunny Wailer, and they learned to play music together. At 14, Marley dropped out of school to learn the welding trade, and spent his spare time jamming with Bunny Wailer and ska musician Joe Higgs.
2. PETER TOSH
Peter Tosh, born Winston Hubert McIntosh (October 9, 1944 â€" September 11, 1987) was the guitarist in the original Wailing Wailers, a reggae musician, and a trailblazer for the Rastafari movement.
Tosh grew up in the Kingston, Jamaica slum of Trench town. He stood out because of his height at 6 feet, 4 inches. His short-fuse temper and unveiled sarcasm usually kept him in trouble, earning him the nickname Stepping Razor after a song written by Joe Higgs, an early mentor. He began to sing and learn guitar at a young age, inspired by the American stations he could pick up on his radio. After an illustrious career with the Wailers and as a solo musician, he was murdered at his home. Though robbery was officially said to be the motivation behind Tosh's death, many believe that there were ulterior motives to the killing, citing that nothing was taken from the house.
3. DENNIS BROWM
Dennis Brown was born Feb 01, 1957 in Kingston, Jamaica. One of Jamaica's most beloved and prolific artists, the late Dennis Brown has left behind a slew of classic songs and myriad hits, a rich musical legacy born of a career that spanned over 30 years. Born Dennis Emmanuel Brown in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1957, his childhood home virtually destined him to a future in the music industry. He grew up on Orange Street, the heart of the island's music scene, with most of the major recording studios a mere stone's throw away. As the stars and future hitmakers paraded by day and music pumped out of the studios, the child could not help but be entranced.
4. JIMMY CLIFF
Jimmy Cliff OM (born James Chambers, 1 April 1948, Somerton District in St. James, Jamaica) is a Jamaican SKA and reggae musician, best known among mainstream audiences for songs like "Sittin' in Limbo", "You Can Get It If You Really Want It", "Many Rivers to Cross" from The Harder They Come, a film soundtrack which helped popularize reggae across the world, and for a cover of "I Can See Clearly Now" from the film "Cool Runnings."
Sizzla was born Miguel Collins on April 17, 1976, and was raised in the August Town area of Kingston by devout Rastafarian parents. After honing his vocal skills, he landed a gig with the Caveman Hi-Fi sound system, where he first made a name for himself as a performer. He cut his first single for the small Zagalou label in 1995, and soon moved on to Bobby "Digital" Dixon's Digital B imprint. However, he didn't manage a breakout success until saxophonist Dean Fraser recommended him to producer Philip "Fatis" Burrell. Sizzla released a series of singles on Burrell's Xterminator label, including "Judgement Morning," "Life's Road," "Blaspheme," "We Uh Fear," "I'm Not Sure," and the Shadowman duet "The Gun." His first LP, Burning Up, appeared on Xterminator later in 1995, and he toured extensively alongside Luciano and Mikey General. Unlike kindred spirits Capleton and Buju Banton, Sizzla's early material was culturally oriented right from the start; he was able to build an audience without any of the lyrical slackness that helped establish the other two.
6. MARCIA GRIFFITHS
Jamaica's longest-running and perhaps biggest female vocalist ever. Griffiths began as a teenager in Coxsone's Studio One, racking up hit after hit, then joined with paramour Bob Andy as Bob & Marcia for the Top Five U.K. pop hit "Young, Gifted and Black." She formed The I Threes to back Bob Marley's international tours and recordings from 1974-1980 and scored a massive international hit with "Electric Boogie" in the '80s. Despite a few '70s Rasta tunes like "Stepping out of Babylon," she is known primarily for her strong, smooth-as-mousse love songs and captivating live performances.
Yellowman is the stage name of Winston Foster, one of the biggest Jamaican reggae stars of the 1980s. Foster, an albino, grew up in Kingston institutions and overcame a rough childhood to become a swaggering DJ with a penchant for witty and sexually explicit lyrics and a stage show that made him a local star. He began recording in the early '80s and for the next several years released records at a furious pace, outselling every other reggae star except Bob Marley. In 1986 Yellowman was diagnosed with throat cancer and given a dire prognosis, but he bounced back and resumed his career in the '90s. His songs include "Mad Over Me," "Mister Chin" and "Blueberry Hill."
Known as the Originator, U-Roy wasn't the first DJ, nor even the first to cut a record, but he was the first to shake the nation and he originated a style so distinctly unique that he single-handedly changed his homeland's music scene forever. Born Ewart Beckford in Jones Town, Jamaica, in 1942, he received his famous moniker from a young family member unable to correctly pronounce Ewart and the nickname stuck.
His poems have given voice to a nation and helped forge an entirely new genre of music, dub/rhythm poetry. Revolutionary, fiery, scathing, and stinging, Mutabaruka's words are as potent on paper as on CD, and so the literary community needed to create a new term just for his works -- meta-dub. Born in Rae Town, Jamaica, on December 12, 1952, Allan Hope first realized the power of the word when he was in his teens. It was the '60s; the Black Power movement was at its height, and numerous radical leaders were putting their thoughts and histories in print.
10. GARNETT SILK
Born Garnet Damion Smith in Greenvale, Hatfield in the parish of Manchester, Jamaica, he was known for his emotive, powerful and silky voice. During the 1980s he was widely hailed as a rising talent, but his career was ended by his early death in 1994 while attempting to save his mother while his house was on fire, while others suspect that it was a conspiracy which involved his two younger brothers, Lij Amlak(Paul Cassanova) & Omar Silk(Omar Scott) which were upcoming artists at the time. He and his mother were found in each other's arms when their bodies were discovered. His debut album was "It's Growing" and his first major hit was "Hello Africa".