Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer and songwriter who sold 20 million records in his career. He was the first international star to come from the ‘Third World’ and is considered one of the forerunners of reggae. A fusion of reggae, ska and rocksteady was his music’s hallmark. Marley died due to cancer at the age of 36.
Jamaican reggae singer Orville Richard Burrell, better known as Shaggy, has delivered international hits such as It Wasn't Me and In The Summertime. The two-time Grammy-winning artist was also bestowed with the Jamaican Order of Distinction. He was part of the U.S. Marine Corps during Operation Desert Storm.
The son of reggae legend Bob Marley and musician and Miss World 1976 Cindy Breakspeare, Damian Marley is a renowned Jamaican DJ and rapper. Known as Junior Gong, the 4-time Grammy Award winner stepped into the professional music scene at age 13 and now calls himself a “Spiritual Revolutionary.”
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.
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.
Stephen Marley is a Jamaican-American musician best known for his collaborations with his brothers Damian and Ziggy Marley. Stephen, the son of Bob Marley, is a multiple-time Grammy Award winner and a successful musician, both in the Jamaican and American music industry.
Buju Banton is a Jamaican recording artist widely regarded as one of the most important and celebrated artists in the history of Jamaican music. He is best known for his album Mr. Mention, which became one of the best-selling Jamaican albums of all time. In 2010, Buju Banton won the Grammy Award for his tenth studio album, Before The Dawn.
Cindy Breakspeare is a Canadian-Jamaican jazz singer, musician, and beauty queen. She was crowned Miss World 1976, becoming the second Jamaican to clinch the crown. She later became a recording artist and entrepreneur, founding a Rastafarian craft store called Ital Craf. She was once in a relationship with reggae musician Bob Marley that lasted until his death.
Jimmy Cliff is best known for popularizing reggae. After beginning his music career singing at local fairs in Jamaica, he scored his first hit, Hurricane Hattie, at 14. He later sang the iconic single Hakuna Matata from The Lion King. He was also the star of the film The Harder They Come.
Ky-Mani Marley is a Jamaican musician and actor best known for his 2001 studio album Many More Roads, which earned him a Grammy Award nomination. The son of Bob Marley, Ky-Mani Marley has also played lead roles in films like Shottas and One Love.
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.
Known as much for his eccentricity as for his music, Jamaican record producer Lee Perry pioneered dub music in remixing. Also known by his nickname Scratch, he apparently burnt down his own studio, known as the Black Ark, in a fit of rage, thinking that Satan had made it his home.
Rexton Rawlston Fernando Gordon, better known as Shabba Ranks, was one of the most popular dancehall performers of his time. The Grammy Award winner soared to international fame with the track Mr. Loverman. He was also once in trouble for allegedly communicating that he was against the LGBT community.
Jamaican-British singer Marcia Barrett soared to fame as part of the iconic group Boney M. Later, as a solo artist, she released albums such as Survival. She eventually launched her own record label, Xoah Records. She has also struggled with and put her career on hold for ovarian cancer.
Yellowman is a Jamaican dancehall and reggae deejay who achieved immense popularity in his country in the 1980s. Despite losing a large portion of his lower jaw due to a cancerous tumor, Yellowman has successfully released many studio albums and live albums. He continues to inspire many across Jamaica.
Remembered as the most popular member of the disco/reggae band Boney M, Liz Mitchell was born in Jamaica but moved to London at age 11. She also worked with the German cast of Hair and was part of the German pop group Les Humphries Singers. She later became a born-again Christian.
Masego is a Jamaican-American singer and musician who achieved widespread recognition in 2017 when he released his collaborative record Tadow alongside French Kiwi Juice (FKJ). Masego is best known for releasing songs that incorporate the saxophone in many beautiful ways.
Beenie Man is a Dancehall deejay from Jamaica known for his 1995 studio album Blessed, which earned him international fame. He started his career as a prodigy, recording albums at the age of 10! He then went on to establish himself as one of the most popular deejays; he has had feuds with famous contemporaries like Yellowman and Bounty Killer.
Bushwick Bill was a Jamaican-American record producer and rapper. He achieved fame as a member of the popular American hip hop group, Geto Boys. His popularity increased in 1991 when he shot himself after an argument with his girlfriend. Although he lost his right eye, the incident helped increase the sales of Geto Boys' album We Can't Be Stopped.
Jamaican reggae musician Gregory Isaacs, also known as the Cool Ruler and Lonely Lover, soared to fame with the track Night Nurse. He excelled in both romantic ballads and socially relevant songs. He sold marijuana in his early days and had a lifelong drug problem. He was also once imprisoned for possessing firearms.
Sly Dunbar is a Jamaican drummer and musician known for his contribution to the prolific reggae and rhythm section production duo, Sly and Robbie. Dunbar and Robbie are also credited with founding a popular record label named Taxi Records, which has seen releases from international artists like Beenie Man. In 2011, Dunbar was featured in the documentary Reggae Got Soul.
Desmond Dekker was a Jamaican musician and singer-songwriter best remembered for his 1968 hit song Israelites, which was one of the earliest reggae songs to achieve international attention. Desmond Dekker often performed alongside his famous backing group The Aces and achieved immense popularity during the late 1960s and 1970s.
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.
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.
Mavado is a Jamaican singer best known for his singles like Give It All to Me and I'm Sanctify. A controversial singer, Mavado has been criticized for anti-gay lyrics on a number of occasions. Apart from working with record labels like Cash Money Records and We the Best Music Group, Mavado has also formed his own label called Mansion Records.
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.
Sister Nancy is a Jamaican singer and dancehall DJ. She is the first female dancehall DJ to achieve international recognition. Sister Nancy was the most popular female dancehall DJ in the world for over two decades. One of her most popular singles Bam Bam is often referred to as the reggae anthem.
Prince Buster was a Jamaican singer, producer, and songwriter. He is best remembered for his records released in the 1960s, which shaped the course of contemporary music in Jamaica. In 2001, Prince Buster's immense contribution to music was honored by the Jamaican Government with the prestigious Order of Distinction.
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.
Ini Kamoze is a Jamaican reggae artist who achieved immense popularity in the 1990s with the release of his song Here Comes the Hotstepper, which took the number one position on the US Billboard Hot 100 among other music charts in countries like New Zealand and Denmark.
Sizzla is a Jamaican musician best known as an exponent of reggae. A prolific musician, Sizzla is one of the most critically and commercially successful contemporary reggae artists in the world. Over the years, he has also been a controversial artist for incorporating anti-gay lyrics into his songs. Many of his concerts have been cancelled because of his anti-gay lyrics.
Super Cat is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall deejay who achieved tremendous popularity during the 1980s and 1990s dancehall movement. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest deejays of the Jamaican dancehall scene.
Beres Hammond is a Jamaican reggae singer best known for his lovers rock music. Hammond achieved immense popularity in the 1990s in Jamaica, during which he released successful albums like A Love Affair, Sweetness, and Putting Up Resistance. In 2014, Beres Hammond received a Grammy Award nomination for his album One Love, One Life.
Bounty Killer is a Jamaican dancehall and reggae deejay. One of the most popular and aggressive dancehall deejays of the '90s, Bounty Killer is also widely regarded as one of the greatest dancehall lyricists. He is also well-known for his feuds with popular contemporaries like Beenie Man.
Aston Barrett is a Jamaican Rastafarian and former musician. He is best known for his role as a teacher and mentor of Robbie Shakespeare. In 2012, Barrett was honored by the Bass Player magazine with a Lifetime Achievement award. His achievements and contributions were recognized in the National Honours and Awards in 2021.
Jah Cure is a Jamaican musician best known for his hit albums like Ghetto Life. Renowned for his controversial lifestyle, Jah Cure was arrested in 1998 on charges of rape, robbery, and gun possession. He was released on parole in 2007, only to be arrested again in 2021 for stabbing a music promoter in Amsterdam.
Elephant Man is a Jamaican singer and musician best known for his controversial albums like Let's Get Physical. Some of his songs have been criticized for inciting homophobic violence and many of his concerts have been cancelled due to his controversial lyrics. Elephant Man was arrested in 2012 for raping and sexually assaulting a 31-year-old woman.
Busy Signal is a Jamaican musician, songwriter, producer, and deejay. He has released several successful albums, such as Reggae Music Again and Parts of the Puzzle. Also an entrepreneur, Busy Signal announced his own clothing line in 2011. He made headlines the following year when he was arrested and extradited to the US where he faced cocaine-related charges.
Eek-a-Mouse is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall musician best known for being a regular at the famous Reggae Sunsplash Festival. A controversial personality, Eek-a-Mouse was arrested in 2008 on charges of narcotic possession and rape. He is currently focusing on his music career.
Barrington Levy is a Jamaican dancehall and reggae artist. He is best known for his 2015 album Acousticalevy, which earned him a Grammy Award nomination under the Best Reggae Album category in 2016. Over the course of his illustrious career, Barrington Levy has also collaborated with other popular artistes like Bounty Killer and Snoop Dogg.
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.
Garnett Silk was a Jamaican Rastafarian and reggae musician best remembered for his emotive, diverse, smooth, and powerful voice. Silk was touted as a rising talent in the 1990s when he lost his life trying to save his mother who was trapped inside her burning house. Many posthumous albums have been released since Garnett Silk's untimely demise at age 28.
Augustus Pablo was a Jamaican multi-instrumentalist and record producer who was active from the 1970s to 1999 when he died at age 45 due to a collapsed lung. Pablo is credited with popularizing the use of the melodica in reggae music. His 1976 album King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown is considered an important example of a musical style called dub.
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.
Gyptian is a Jamaican reggae singer best known for his 2010 single Hold Yuh, which was featured on many international music charts like the Billboard Hot 100, Billboard Heatseekers Songs Chart, and Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Chart. Hold Yuh achieved further popularity when Gyptian released its remix version featuring rapper Nicki Minaj.
Precious Wilson is a Jamaican soul singer best known for her association with the British musical group Eruption, which was an all-male group before Wilson became its lead singer. Precious Wilson left the group in the late 1970s in order to pursue her solo career. Many of her singles have been featured on several international music charts.
Mr. Vegas is a Jamaican musician who achieved popularity in the late-1990s with the release of hits like Jack It Up, Yu Sure, and Latest News. Although he announced his retirement in 2008, he started working in 2009 and released songs like Can't Stop Now. Since coming out of retirement, Mr. Vegas has been releasing hit albums like Sweet Jamaica.
Ken Boothe is a Jamaican singer best known for his distinctive timbre and vibrato. He is widely regarded as one of Jamaica's finest vocalists. Ken Boothe has also achieved international recognition, thanks to a series of crossover hits. In 2003, the Jamaican government honored his immense contribution to Jamaican music with the prestigious Order of Distinction.