What's the worst white reggae ever

Top 10 best reggae singers

Reggae, the unique jumping music with the stuffy beat and an emphasis on percussion and bass, was formed from Mento, Rocksteady and Ska. It has evolved into many sub-genres and has indelibly shaped popular music and even influenced the early development of hip hop. This list features ten of what the author considers to be the greatest reggae singers of all time. The singers' international success, album sales and influence on the music itself were taken into account. It was difficult to narrow this list down to the ten greatest, which is why some great singers whose careers began recently have been abandoned. It may be anachronistic to refer to ska and rocksteady as reggae, but it has become common to categorize these two genres under that heading.

Please note that this is a list of reggae singers. This list does not include reggae DJs, DJs who also sing, instrumentalists, or producers.


Alton Ellis The Godfather of Rocksteady (1938-2008)

Balanced and refined, Ellis pioneered the Jamaican music scene. His soulful voice caught the ears of many listeners with his groundbreaking forays into Rocksteady and his unique R&B classics. Alton Nehemiah Ellis was born in Kingston's Trenchtown in 1938 to a family that promoted his artistic activities. Ellis took piano lessons at an early age and won several dance competitions before focusing on a singing career. Working with Eddy Perkins, the young Alton began recording R&B songs for Coxsonne Dodd. With six Jamaican hits under their belt, the duo seemed to be more successful. However, Perkins moved to the United States after winning a talent competition. Alton worked briefly with John Holt before forming his own group, the Flames. As Ska began to glorify the often violent rude boy culture, Ellis grew increasingly frustrated - he recorded several songs directed against the rude boys and blamed artists glorifying the rude boys. Two of these anti-Rudie songs, "Cry Tough" and "Dance Crasher", became big hits.

"Girl I'm Got Date" and "Get Ready, Rock Steady" were also big hits for Ellis. The latter was the first song in the new genre Rocksteady (which emerged from a session with the great keyboardist Jackie Mittoo). . Ellis continued to dominate this new form of music. In the early seventies, Ellis covered the tracks "Willow Tree", "Sitting in the Park" and "I'm Just a Guy" to great Jamaican hits. Two of Ellis' original songs, the more roots "Back to Africa" ​​and "Lord Deliver Us", also hit Jamaican gold. Unfortunately, Alton's entire success for the artist was not translated financially. Ellis briefly moved to the United States and Canada before settling in the UK and starting his own label, Alltone. He had slight success with his new label, but was one of the many reggae singers overshadowed by Marley's great success. In 2004, Ellis received the Order of Distinction from the Jamaican government for his musical achievements. Four years later, Ellis died of cancer, leaving behind numerous children and a popular catalog of ska, rocksteady, and reggae classics.

9 Burning Spear Black Soul (1948)


Winston Rodney was born in the same location as Bob Marley in 1948. In 1969 it was a meeting with Marley that began Rodney's path to success. Rodney asked Marley's advice when he got into the music business, and Bob advised him to see Clement "Coxsonne" Dodd. In a duo with his friend Rupert Willington, the two grabbed Dodd's ear. Inspired by Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya's Mau Mau leader, Rodney chose the name "Burning Spear" for the group. The group was accompanied by Delroy Hinds, who helped Willington support Winston's distinctive vocals. Her first successful single was Joe Frazier (He Prayed), a Jamaican hit. From the start, the groups singles focused on conscious themes of deep Rastafarian spirituality and cultural awareness and released a number of singles and two albums. Unable to achieve their early hit, the group left Dodd in 1975 for Jack Ruby and their first two singles "Marcus Garvey" and "Slavery Days" quickly hit the charts. Supported by the Black Disciples (which also included bassist Robbie Shakespeare and guitarist Earl "Chinna Smith"), their first album with Ruby, Marcus Garvey, is an indispensable companion for any Roots fan. Iceland quickly noticed the group and signed it. Burning Spear was alienated almost immediately when the record label re-released the Marcus Garvey album for international consumption by remixing the whole thing.

In response, Rodney started his own label, and Burning Spear released a well-received 1976 follow-up, Marcus Gavey, Man in the Hills, as well as a dub album. At this point, Willington and Hinds left the group and Rodney separated production from Ruby. Rodney kept the Burning Spear name and started producing himself, supported by the Black Disciples and still on the Island label. When Dry and Heavy was released in 1977, Burning Spear was well known in the UK. After performing with the British reggae band Aswad, Spear kept some of his musicians in addition to the Black Disciples for his next album, Social Living from 1978. Spear was invited to the first reggae Sunsplash in 1980 and has since been at almost all subsequent Sunsplash festivals represented. Also in 1980 was the release of Hail HIM, co-produced at Tuff Gong Studio with the Black Disciples and Aston "Family Man" Barrett. Spear toured and released albums in the 1980s, receiving a 1985 Grammy nomination and shaping new his backing band twice. In the mid-1990s, Spear moved to Queens, where he continues to record. Spear received a Grammy nomination for Rasta Business in '95, eventually winning in 2000 with Calling Rastafari and 2009 with Jah is Real.


Michael Rose Mr. Tu Tu Tweng (1957)

Michael Rose, best known as the singer of Black Uhuru, has grown into a talented singer himself. Rose was born in Kingston's violent Waterhouse District on July 11, 1957, and still had a stable home. As a teenager, Rose attracted Rastafarians and began removing his dreadlocks. Dreads were viewed with disgust by most polite societies at the time, and Rastafarians were viewed as a filthy, drug-addicted group of troublemakers and lowlifes. Rose's parents, unsatisfied with their hairstyle choices, demanded that he cut his curls or face the street. Rose refused and was pushed out onto the street to fend for herself. He managed to stay out of trouble but lost many friends along the way. In his early teens, Rose competed in local talent competitions and performed at hotels on the north coast of Jamaica. Rose's recorded his first single at the age of 15, which was soon followed by a number of other singles under the production of Winston "Niney" Holness. Few of his songs were recorded, but Rose was encouraged by his childhood friend, drummer Sly Dunbar, and continued his singing career. Through Dunbar, Rose met Ducky Simpson, a singer who hoped to rebuild his vocal trio Uhuru. With the addition of Rose and Errol Nelson, Black Sounds Uhuru was born. They recorded an album called "Love Crisis" before Errol Nelson left and was replaced by an American woman, Puma Jones.

From then on, Black Uhuru were produced by Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, who also provided the distinctive drum and bass instrumentation. Aside from "General Penitentiary", the newly recorded "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" and "Shine Eye Gal" were all well received hits. More hits followed, and the group was signed to Iceland in 1980. Her first Icelandic album was Sinsemilla. This followed in 1981 with Red, which reached number 28 on the British album charts. Rolling Stone rated the album 23rd on their '89 list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s. When the Grammys started the reggae category in 1984, Black Uhuru were the first reggae act to record them on their Anthem album. Unfortunately, Rose and Simpson got into increasing conflict, which led Michael to leave the group. Although still successful, the group was no longer the same after Rose's departure. Rose started a coffee farm in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, a nonprofit project he still runs that employs local youth. After leaving Black Uhuru, Rose remained calm for several years until she reappeared on the reggae scene in 1989. Since then he has published consistently recorded albums and singles, mainly under the Ethiopian spelling of his name, Mykal Rose. Rose's distinctive voice and scatting style have inspired many reggae singers. Rose has started to join Black Uhuru on occasion while still pursuing his own music and frequently collaborating with dancehall performers. His most recent number one hit, "Shoot Out", was released in 2007 with Damian "Jr." recorded. Gong ”Marley.

7 Dennis Brown The Crown Prince of Reggae (1957-1999)


Brown was over thirty years old and was a prolific artist with a powerful voice and a lovable personality. Dennis Emmanual Brown was born in Kingston's burgeoning music industry on Orange Street in 1957. Surrounded by the sounds of ska, rocksteady and reggae during his youth, young Brown was fascinated by music. Influenced by this environment and the work of American artists such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sam Cooke and Nat King Cole, Brown began singing in earnest at the age of nine. He was soon discovered by local producers, and his first hit came at the age of twelve under Clement Dodd with "No Man is an Island". Brown worked as a backup singer for the reggae great, Alton Ellis, who convinced him to learn to play the guitar. Brown's musical acumen was released with a number of songs among various producers during his school days. In the early 1970s, Brown began recording on the Observer label under the guidance of his producer and friend Winston "Niney" Holness. Brown's musical success grew when "Money in My Pocket" found heavy rotation in British reggae clubs and "Westbound Train" was number one in Jamaica. A string of hits followed as Brown switched from love songs to more cultural themes that reflected his Rastafarian beliefs.

Bob Marley noticed young Brown and was thrilled that he was the greatest reggae singer in the world. More hit singles and albums followed, and Brown hit number 12 on the UK charts with the disco mix version of "Money in my Pocket". It wasn't until 1981, after Marley's death, that a large label became interested in Brown. Brown, who recognized Marley as the King of Reggae, received the title of Crown Prince of Reggae. Dennis Brown signed with A&M and produced two albums with Joe Gibbs. The albums weren't good as the reggae fans found too much pop music for their liking. Brown's deal with A&M was bogus, but now he and other singers faced the challenge of the new digital age of reggae and the rise of quick-chat disc jockeys; singers like Brown and Isaacs responded by flooding the market with songs. They believed that a lack of fresh material would have led to the rise of these upstarts. Unfortunately, the quality of their material suffered as a result. Still, a number of great albums and collaborations with duets and collaborations with artists such as Gregory Isaacs, Mutabaruka and Beres Hammond emerged. In the early 1990s, Brown continued to take root tracks and collaborate with dancehall and roots artists. Unfortunately, Brown had started using cocaine and his already fragile respiratory system was weakened by the new addiction. Brown developed pneumonia while on a trip to Brazil and returned to Jamaica, where he was hospitalized after suffering cardiac arrest. His weakened lungs, his poor condition, aggravated by cocaine abuse, collapsed on July 1, 1999, and Brown died. Brown left numerous classic reggae songs, and the world had lost one of reggae's greatest stars.


Desmond Dekker The King of Ska (1941-2006)

Although he grew up in Kingston, Desmond Dacres was born in St. Andrew Jamaica. As a teenager, Dacres was sent to Alpha Boys School, a strict Catholic school but known for producing some of Jamaica's greatest talents through its marching band. Not only did the school produce a number of well-known Jamaican musicians, but it was also home to four of the ten founding members of the Skatalites. As a teenager, Dacres moved around Jamaica until his parents' deaths returned to Kingston. Desmond, encouraged by his colleagues (including one Robert Marley) in his welding job, spoke unsuccessfully for Clement Dodd and Duke Reid. Eventually it was signed by Leslie Kong after auditioning for ska legend Derrick Morgan. Desmond Dacres became Desmond Dekker and released his first hit, Honor Your Father and Mother, followed by three others. His "King of Ska", in which he was supported by the Maytals, cemented him as one of Jamaica's most popular singers. After this hit, Dekker formed a fouring band consisting of the brothers Barry, Carl, Clive and Patrick Howard.

Desmond Dekker and the Aces created a number of hits that initially wiped a squeaky clean image before his songs served the rebellious, rude boys. During his tour of the UK, Dekker was amazed to find out that he had been adopted by the Mod Subculture. With every Jamaican hit that resonated among the mods, Desmond Dekker had more than twenty number 1 hits in Jamaica, including "Rudie Got Soul", "Pretty Africa" ​​and "007 (Shanty Town)". After all, Dekker was at his peak in 1968. He released his best-known song "Israelites". "Israelites" reached the top ten on the American charts and topped the UK singles chart. Dekker had slight success on his UK tours in the 1970s and recorded his previous hits in a punk-ska fusion called 2-Tone. In the 1980s the 2-tone movement broke out and Dekker was forced to file for bankruptcy in 1984. He then worked intensively with him and was very much in demand for his popular live shows. He died of a heart attack in May 2006 at the age of 64. His best-known single "Israelites" was a hit three times and had paved the way for future reggae successes in the United States and Great Britain.

5 Gregory Isaacs the Cool Ruler (1951)

In the words of Milo Miles of the New York Times, "Gregory Isaacs" is the most exquisite singer in reggae, his pliable baritone who is equally good at silky ballads and creeping dance grooves. "Fletcher's Land, where he took part in many singing competitions as a teenager. It was his frequent participation in these talent shows that eventually led him to catch the ear of producer Byron Lee in 1968. He performed the duet" Another Hearbreak "alongside Winston Sinclair. on, an unsuccessful single. Inspired by the success of other vocal trios, Isaacs formed the Concords and worked with a number of producers, including Prince Buster. The Concords were also unsuccessful in recording a hit and were soon disbanded. Isaacs pursued despite his His musical dream for lack of success. Gregory Isaacs tried to produce his own songs and still couldn't record a hit. Eventually he founded his own record shop and label in partnership with the successful singer Errol Dunkley. Soon after, Isaacs produced and released the first rock song for lovers, "My Only Lov he".

After all, Isaacs had a hit and it was like the dam had burst with a flood of successful singles. As is well known, the "Cool Ruler" released a large number of songs and collected numerous hits on almost sixty albums (without compilations). After signing with Island Records in 1982, he released his largest studio album, Night Nurse. Backed by the Roots Radics on the title track, the hit received strong radio and club play, although the album only hit # 32 in the UK. Despite his success, Isaacs was not doing well. That same year, he served a six-month prison sentence for possession of unlicensed firearms and was addicted to cocaine. He continued to release albums as he struggled with his addiction, but his voice had lost some of its smooth crooning quality. Even so, he managed to kick his addiction and continues to work on creating strong albums.


Peter Tosh the Steppin Razor (1944-1987)


This 6'4 Rastafarian unicyclist who played a guitar like an M-16 rifle was certainly a unique figure in reggae music; it is often said that if Bob Marley were Martin Luther King, the brooding Peter Tosh Malcolm X. Winston Hubert McIntosh, born in Westmoreland, Jamaica, was raised by an aunt in the absence of his parents. His aunt died when Tosh was only fifteen, and Tosh moved in with an uncle in Trench Town, Kingston's notoriously poor and violent housing project. These experiences shaped him into an extremely independent person, known for his stubbornness and perseverance. Tosh was a self-taught guitarist and learned through observation and practice to play his cheap acoustic guitar. He had actually taught Bob Marley how to play. Peter Tosh had met the young Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer through their singing teacher, Joe Higgs. The three formed the Wailing Wailers and produced a number of ska and rock hits. After switching to Rastafarian, they teamed up with the great Lee Perry to create a series of hits. Marley convinced Perry's house band, the Upsetters, who had just been demolished by Perry, to join the Wailers. At first, Perry was furious, but Marley managed to persuade him as a producer.

With the help of Perry's production genius and now with the musical skills of the upset Aston "Family Man" Barrett on bass and Carlton Barrett on drums, the Wailers aroused the interest of Chris Blackwell and were promptly signed to his label. Tosh stayed in the group for the first two albums, "Catch a Fire" and "Burnin '", but left because of the strict tour schedule and his personal dislike of Chris Blackwell - or, as he preferred to call him, Chris White. worst. In 1973, Peter Tosh was involved in a car accident that killed his girlfriend and fractured his skull. Many around him said that after this experience he was even more difficult to deal with. Although he had previously started singles under his own label, Tosh eventually embarked on a serious solo career and in 1976 released his first solo project, Legalize It. This anthem called for the legalization of marijuana, frequent ganja smoking, his Kantanker personality, and his refusal to censor his speech, which resulted in several severe beatings by police. One of the attacks in 1978 was almost fatal. The Rolling Stones soon became aware of Tosh, but had little success with their label. He returned to his own label and released two great albums, "Wanted: Dread or Alive" and "Mama Africa". On September 11, 1987, Peter Tosh was gunned down in his home by a man whom he had given money and bought bed for. The man, along with three other men, had entered Tosh's property with a gun and was looking for more money. Tosh, who was not intimidated, merely declared that he had nothing to give and was immediately shot. However, no money was taken from Tosh's house, leading some to question the official story.

3 Jimmy Cliff Reggae's Lost King (1948)

Jimmy Cliff, instantly recognizable by his clear, high-pitched vocals, became a popular reggae symbol in the late 1960s and early 1970s. James Chambers was born in the village of Adelphi Land in St. James, Jamaica. He found ways to use his unique voice in elementary school and in his parents' church. He was forbidden from actively seeking secular music, so he secretly listened to the local sound system and sneaked into the local fairground to record the latest Latin American music and RnB. Chambers moved to Kingston in 62 to attend vocational high school. He took the opportunity to compete for the ears of local producers, which eventually caught the attention of producer Leslie Kong. Jimmy Cliff took his name from the cliffs that surround his children's village and began recording. After two failures, he recorded his first ska hit "Hurricane Hattie" at the age of 14. This was followed by a number of top hits under the leadership of Kong. Leslie Kong's death from a heart attack hit Cliff hard as he had remained loyal to the producer throughout his career. Jimmy Cliff was eventually signed by Chris Blackwell, the influential Jamaican / British producer and businessman. His first album "Hard Road to Travel" was released in 1968 with mild success.

His '69 album "Wonderful World, Beautiful People" had far more success when the theme song reached the top 25 in the United States and reached number 6 in the United Kingdom. Bob Dylan has claimed that "Vietnam" on this album is the best protest song he has ever heard. In '72, Cliff was asked to star in the Jamaican film, "The Harder They Come". He accepted, recorded the majority of the film's soundtrack, and the film became an underground cult classic. Reggae became much better known through the film and its soundtrack, and until overshadowed by Marley, Cliff was the face of a Jamaican reggae. Dissatisfied with the direction of Chris Blackwell, he left the Island label and set out to make his own way. Cliff has always been socially active and was still touring at the age of 61. He was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Toots Hibbert the Skafather (1945)

Hibbert's energetic and funky delivery and the rough, soulful vocals are unmistakable. Frederick "Toots" Hibbert is from the small town of May Pen, Jamaica, and has had a profound influence on the growth and development of Ska and Reggae. This small and unique singer grew up as the youngest member of a large Pentecostal family. As a teenager he sang gospel music in the church choir, an influence that can still be heard in his music. As a teenager he moved to Kingston and founded a singing group, the Maytals, with Henry "Raleigh" Gordon and Jerry Matthias. Supported by the Skatalites and produced by Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, the trio eventually had chart success. The group's infectious rhythm and energy easily exceeded the efforts of another young trio, the Wailers. Toots and the Maytals worked with top Jamaican producers like Byron Lee, Prince Buster and Leslie Kong and had 39 number one hits in Jamaica. Hibbert is often credited with writing the first song using the 1968 word reggae "Do the Reggay". Rolling Stone ranked Toots Hibbert at number 71 on the list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time (Marley was number 19). He never reached Marley's popularity.

This despite his travels across Europe and America, the renewed interest in the Maytals that emerged from the Ska revival, and the subsequent covers of Hibbert's works of the Clash and Specials. Despite being a Rastafarian, he refrains from growing dreadlocks and prefers to internalize his supreme Rastafarian position. This may also have something to do with Hibbert's previous activity as a barber. Hibbert is still touring, collaborating extensively and releasing albums at the age of 64.

1 Robert Nesta Marley Tuff Gong (1945-1981)

Bob Marley's name has become synonymous with reggae and he remains the most famous musician of the genre. Marley was born in Nine Mile, St. Ann Jamaica, to Cedella Booker and grew up without knowing his white father, Norval Marley. Although Norval provided financial support, he was not in Marley's life and died when Bob was only ten years old. Marley's mixed heritage made him angry as a teenager, but young Marley knew how to use his fists to defend himself. His surprising strength and toughness earned him the nickname Tuff Gong. Along with his childhood friend and stepbrother Neville O'Riley Livingston (Bunny Wailer), Marley was fascinated by the Jamaican music scene and rude boy culture. Young Marley and Livingstone dropped out of school to pursue musical careers under the guidance of Rastafarian vocal coach Joe Higgs. Here they met with Peter McIntosh, with whom they formed the core of the band that came to be known as the Wailers. The Wailers were signed by Clement "Coxsone" Dodd and some minor hits were recorded. After a brief hiatus in Delaware, Marley returned to Jamaica and became a Rastafarian. After an argument, the Wailers left Dodd to join the great Lee "Scratch" Perry and his Upsetters band. The Wailers took the Barrett brothers with them and signed with Chris Blackwell's Island. In 1973 they released two albums, Catch a Fire and Burnin '. Both albums sold well, but it wasn't until Eric Clapton recorded a cover of "I Shot the Sheriff" that Marley became truly visible in the international music scene. Both Tosh and Bunny left the band at this point. They were dissatisfied with the rigorous tour schedule and intended to pursue solo careers. Despite the loss of two of the Wailers' original members, Marley kept the band's name and added a percussionist, three backing singers, and two lead guitarists to his band. In 1974, Marley Natty released Dread, which included his well-received hit "No Woman, No Cry".

Despite being noticed in the United States, Marley's American breakthrough came in 1976 with the Rastaman Vibration, which reached number 8 on the Billboard 200 chart. That same year, Marley agreed to attend an event involved in a free, impartial event, the Smile Jamaica Concert, organized by Prime Minister Michael Manley. Politics was a deadly game in Jamaica. Supporters of the Jamaican Labor Party and the People's Party (National People's Party) often had violent clashes. Perhaps because of this, Marley, his wife, and his manager were wounded in a night robbery by unknown gunmen. Marley had minor injuries to his chest and arm but refused to bow to the pressure and played the concert anyway. Marley left Jamaica a little later and recorded his Exodus and Kaya albums, both of which had enormous international success. Exodus was named Best Album of the 20th Century by Time Magazine, while Rolling Stone placed it at # 169 of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Marley's following albums, Survival and Uprising, were more political, selling 3x and 5x platinum, respectively. Unbeknownst to his fans, Marley had contracted cancer on the wound of a rusty brace while playing soccer. Despite his cancer and deteriorating health since '76, Marley continued to tour and record. By the time he finally sought treatment it was too late and succumbed to cancer on February 6, 1981. Eight of Marley's children are currently engaged in music, with three of them (Ziggy, Stephen, and Damian) receiving multiple Grammys for their children have efforts. Marley's songs continue to inspire the oppressed everywhere, and his music continues to be popular around the world.

Honorable Mentions: Laurel Aitken, Max Romeo, John Holt, Sugar Minott and David Hinds (Steel Pulse), Barrington Levy, Lucky Dube, Bunny Wailer, Jacob Miller, Beres Hammond, Luciano.