Famous Jamaican Lyricists & Songwriters

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 1 
Vybz Kartel
(Songwriter)
Vybz Kartel
3
Birthdate: January 7, 1976
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kingston

Jamaican reggae/dancehall musician Vybz Kartel, also known as Worl' Boss, soared to fame with hits such as Romping Shop and Summer Time. In 2014, he was convicted of the murder of his associate Clive "Lizard" Williams and received a life sentence. However, he continues to release music from prison.

 2 
Safaree Samuels
(Rapper and Songwriter, Best Known as the Cast of VH1 Reality Show 'Love & Hip Hop")
Safaree Samuels
4
Birthdate: July 4, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Jamaican-American rapper Safaree Samuels started his career with The Hoodstars. He is also known as rapper Nicki Minaj’s former boyfriend. He once launched a sex toy line and later sold his porn videos on his OnlyFans account. He has also been part of the reality show Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood.

 3 
Peter Tosh
(Reggae Musician)
Peter Tosh
3
Birthdate: October 19, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Westmoreland, Jamaica
Died: September 11, 1987
Abandoned by his parents as a child, Peter Tosh grew up learning music by watching others perform. Part of the Jamaican reggae group Bob Marley and the Wailers, he advocated for legalization of marijuana. He loved unicycling. He was shot dead during a robbery attempt by three gunmen.
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 4 
Cedella Marley
3
Birthdate: August 23, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

The daughter of reggae legend Bob Marley and his singer wife Rita Marley, Cedella Marley dons many hats. She is not just a singer but is also a successful fashion designer, an author, and an entrepreneur. She began her singing career with The Melody Makers and now heads her father’s record label.

 5 
Toots Hibbert
(Reggae Singer & the Lead Vocalist for the Reggae and Ska Band 'Toots and the Maytals')
Toots Hibbert
2
Birthdate: December 8, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: May Pen, Jamaica
Died: September 11, 2020

Toots Hibbert was a Jamaican singer-songwriter best remembered for his association with the musical group Toots and the Maytals where he was the lead vocalist. A pioneer of reggae music, Toots Hibbert helped establish the fundamentals of reggae over a course of his six decade-long career. His song Do the Reggay is credited as the origin of the name reggae.

 6 
Millie Small
(Singer)
Millie Small
2
Birthdate: October 6, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Clarendon Parish, Jamaica
Died: May 5, 2020

Millie Small was a Jamaican singer-songwriter best remembered for her hit song My Boy Lollipop, which sold more than seven million copies worldwide, apart from taking up the second spot on US Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart. The most successful Jamaican female performer of all time, Millie Small was also the Caribbean's first international recording star.

 7 
Burning Spear
(Jamaican Roots Reggae Singer-Songwriter, Vocalist and Musician)
Burning Spear
2
Birthdate: March 1, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: St. Ann Parish, Jamaica

Winston Rodney, better known as Burning Spear, is one of the most popular roots reggae singers from Jamaica. He has often depicted Rastafarianism in his works. Along with Rupert Willington, he soared to fame with the track Door Peep. The 2-time Grammy winner is best known for the album Calling Rastafari.

 8 
Dennis Brown
(Jamaican Reggae Singer)
Dennis Brown
2
Birthdate: February 1, 1957
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: July 1, 1999

Arguably the most popular Jamaican reggae singer of his time, Dennis Brown popularized what is now known as lovers rock. The Grammy-nominated singer started singing at age 9 and later soared to fame with tracks such as Africa. He had a lifelong struggle with drugs and of a lung collapse.

 9 
Koffee
(Rapper)
Koffee
1
Birthdate: February 16, 2000
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Spanish Town, Jamaica

Koffee is a Jamaican singer, songwriter, deejay, rapper, and guitarist. She is best known for her 2019 extended play Rapture, which earned her the prestigious Grammy Award, making her the only woman and youngest person to receive the award under the Best Reggae Album category.

 10 
Alborosie
(Singer-Songwriter Best Known as the 'Italian Reggae Ambassador')
Alborosie
2
Birthdate: July 4, 1977
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Marsala, Sicily, Italy

Alborosie is an Italian reggae singer who has been credited with popularizing reggae music in Italy and other European countries. In 2011, he won the MOBO Award under the Best Reggae Act category. Alborosie is currently residing in Kingston, Jamaica.         

 11 
Joseph Hill
(Lead Singer and Songwriter for the Roots Reggae Group 'Culture')
Joseph Hill
2
Birthdate: January 22, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Linstead, St. Catherine, Jamaica
Died: August 19, 2006

Joseph Hill was a Jamaican singer-songwriter best remembered for his association with the roots reggae group, Culture. The group is most famous for their hit debut album Two Sevens Clash which released in 1977. Joseph Hill recorded 22 albums before his demise in 2006 at the age of 57.

 12 
Carlton Barrett
(Percussionist, Drummer, Songwriter)
Carlton Barrett
0
Birthdate: December 17, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: April 17, 1987

Carlton Barrett was a Jamaican musician remembered for his association with the popular reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers where he was the drummer for a long period of time. Renowned for his innovative style and dazzling drum introductions, Carlton Barrett's recordings with Bob Marley have been celebrated worldwide. Barrett is credited with popularizing Jamaica's beloved One Drop rhythm.

 13 
Jackie Mittoo
(Former keyboard player known for member of The Skatalites)
Jackie Mittoo
1
Birthdate: March 3, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brown's Town, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica
Died: December 16, 1990

Jackie Mittoo was a Jamaican-Canadian songwriter, keyboardist, and musical director. He is best remembered for his association with the Studio One record label where he worked as a musical director. Jackie Mittoo is also remembered as one of the most important members of the popular ska band, The Skatalites.