Jamaican Reggae Artists We Lost in 2020-2021

Across the world, Reggae fans are grieving the sad news of their beloved artists who passed away between 2020-2021.

Keith “Bob Andy” Anderson

Keith “Bob Andy” Anderson, one of our veteran Reggae entertainers and prolific songwriter, passed away on March 27, 2020, after succumbing to cancer. His songwriting skills allowed him to be recognized as one of Jamaica’s most influential songwriters of all time. His most popular singles were “Desperate Lover” and “I Have got to Go Back Home.” You are resting in peace now Bob Andy but your true home will always be in our hearts. 

Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert

On September 11, 2020, Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert, better known as “Toots” passed away at the University Hospital of the West Indies after failing to overcome the deadly Coronavirus. Toots was a Jamaican Reggae singer, songwriter, and the lead vocalist for Toots and the Maytals, a Reggae and “Ska” band.  He was a renowned Reggae artist with a ground-breaking music career of over six decades. His fellow bandmates Paul Douglas and Jackie Jackson confirmed in November 2020 that the Maytals will continue as a homage to Toots. Not only that, but Reggae fans will also continue to listen to his raspy yet gorgeously supple sound that captures the true essence of Reggae music as a tribute to the great Reggae pioneer, “Toot Hibbert.”

Bunny Wailer

Bunny Wailer

Finally, 2020’s calamity was but the passing of our remarkable Bunny Wailer – The Blackheart Man (April 10, 1947 – March 2, 2021), was a sad awakening for fans. He was an original member of the world-renowned Reggae group Bob Marley and the Wailers. Their first single called, “Simmer Down” quickly spread across the world. This song is even widely recognized by the younger generations due to Bunny’s prolific writing and vocal skills          

Lee “Scratch” Perry

Later on in 2021, we got more bad news, Lee “Scratch” Perry passed away on August 29, 2021. He died at the age of 85 but he left a mark on Reggae after achieving an instrumental hit with “The Upsetter” in the late 1960s. He was also a key figure in the early success of Jamaica’s most famous group, the Bob Marley and the Wailers. The Most Honourable Prime Minister Andrew Holness paid tribute to Lee “Scratch” Perry on his own Twitter post saying, “Perry was a pioneer in the 1970s’ development of dub music with his early adoption of studio effects to create new instrumentals of existing Reggae.” It couldn’t have been said any better. We love you Legend

Click here: https://twitter.com/AndrewHolnessJM/status/1431994929841049606?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1431994929841049606%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mercurynews.com%2F2021%2F08%2F30%2Flee-scratch-perry-legendary-reggae-musician-from-jamaica-dies-at-85  

Yvonne Sterling

Our Reggae songstress Yvonne Sterling passed away at 65 years old in September 2020 and Reggae fans were saddened by the news. Even though death silenced her voice that once reverberated the cultural and entertainment sector- just shortly after she re-kindled her music career, with a hit collaboration with Jamaican artists Little Lenny and Richie Stephens; her legacy will still live on. Her greatest hits were “If you love me” and “O Jah.”

Despite the sadness that we feel during these times of loss, we say rest on to our Reggae Legends – the ones who we lost from 2020-2021 and the ones we lost before. You will be sadly missed, but your musical contributions shall live forever!!


braces in jamaica

               Jamaican reggae sensation, Mikayla “Koffee” Simpson, copped a Grammy for Best Reggae Album in 2020, making her the youngest reggae recipient in history and the first woman to get an award in that category since it has been around from 1985. Lately, Koffee has been expanding her footprint across the world by spreading her positivity and helping to unite people through music. With the global recognition that Koffee has been getting, she has been using her platform to promote what she truly represents- positivity and humility. The artist used her achievement to inspire young people in Jamaica through her “Haffi Mek It” school initiative, where she engaged her listeners in musical performances and motivational speeches. In 2020, Koffee must have said, “COVID-19 nah stop the progress” because she  launched a virtual music  tour with all proceeds going towards the improvement of children’s education.  

Koffee : Grammy-Winning Superstar

          In 2020, she was named an ambassador for the Jordan Unite campaign. This global campaign celebrates a generation joining together to create an impact that extends beyond the game of basketball. With the mantra of the campaign being, “Impossible alone! Possible together!” Koffee has been showing a promising career that continues to have reverberations across the world. In her Vogue interview when asked why she is partnering with the Jordan brand, she asserted, “I generally wear a sports style, a lot of sports clothes like sweatpants, sweatsuits, and sneakers, so Jordan’s already within my style and what I represent.” She strongly believes that this campaign will enhance her chances of inspiring her peers to strive for greatness while remaining grounded and free of corruption.

             Not only did she cop a Brand Ambassador deal with Jordan but she has endorsed the H&M Holiday Campaign titled “Bring in the Future” In this ad where you can hear Koffee reciting these soul-stirring lines, “Come out! Let out the love within, Call inequality for all, Let the voice of justice call, Let’s love, let loose, let it begin.” Furthermore, Koffee opened up to H&M about her hopes and dreams for 2021, where she stated, “I am hopeful in my heart that we will see a world that is more connected and empathetic.” 

Check out the video of Koffee reciting the inspirational poem in the H&M Ad Campaign. 

The Jordan Unite and H&M campaigns are just a few of her sponsorship deals. Later in the year, she also added  the Mastercard and Malta Ad campaigns, both great brands to be aligned with and big wins for Koffee.

Click to view the Malta Ad: https://www.instagram.com/p/CGlNQRohpbx/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=embed_video_watch_again

One viewer commented under the Malta ad, “Me affi come back come watch this while me a drink a Malta, the ad just “shot” yo.” This exemplifies how impactful Koffee is on a cultural and entertainment level.

         Most recently, she has endorsed, Calvin Klein’s Spring campaign in 2021, titled, “The Feeling of Letting Go.” The endorsement was announced in an epic Instagram post where Koffee “was outfitted in” a tightly-fitted sports bra – very unlike her usual ensemble of loosely fitted clothing. 

Click here to view the Calvin Klein photo: http://radiojamaicanewsonline.com/assets/img/stories/display_pic/1614920461e-Calvin-Klein.jpg

Through all of Koffee’s brand sponsorships, she continues to expand the advocacy of working towards a world filled with more love, equality, and positivity. We’ll certainly be expecting more from Koffee because there are no limits for this multi-talented reggae artist. 

Top Jamaican Producers – 2020

rvssian russian jamaican producer

Whenever one sets out to make music, they want their music to be the best. Musicians and artists want their idea, vibration, and intent for the song expressed in the sound and beat accompanying the song; this is where music production comes into play. Songwriting, Arranging, Tracking, Editing, Mixing, and Mastering are all a part of the music producers’ job; they mold the song into a masterpiece.

Jamaica has produced some of the most excellent musicians of all time, and a contributing factor to Jamaica’s success is its producers. Here, we highlight some top musicians in Jamaica and how they have contributed to the Jamaican music’s uniqueness.

Stephen McGregor

Affectionately called ‘di genius,’ Stephen McGregor is the producer at Big Ship or Di Genius Productions. Stephen is the son of the famous Freddie McGregor; his introduction and attraction to music began at a young age. Working with top-class artists such as Elephant Man, Sean Paul, Bounty Killer, Da’Ville, and Movado, who also recorded “Weh Dem a Do” on his “Red Bull & Guinness” riddim in 2006. Producer Stephen McGregor has worked with the likes of Drake, Ne-Yo, and Estelle on the international scene. McGregor was given credit for bringing dancehall music to the mainstream after producing Drake’s hit ‘Controlla.’ In 2007 American Publishing Company announced a written deal with Mr. Stephen McGregor; we expect great things.

Notnice Records

While producers phase is and out, Notnice is considered one of the number one producers in dancehall music. Owned by Reggae artist Vybz Kartel and his business partner Ainsley “Notnice” Morris. Working with artists like Vybz Kartel’s on his number one singles “Last Man Standing,” “Cake Soap,” “Mama,” and “Get Wild. He also worked on Jah Vinci’s ” Watch Yuh Friends,” Shawn Storm’s “My Life” Popcaan’s “Gangster City,” and “Dream.” These hits are mostly number ones on local charts.

Chimney Records

Producers Jordan McClure and David Hayle, have worked with the best to include, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Mavado, Vybz Kartel, Elephant Man, Konshens, Zagga, Aidonia, I-Octane, Tarrus Riley, Chris Martin, to name a few. This incredible lineup of artists is what made Chimney records a Jamaican household name. Though Chimney Records has been around for over 12 years, they keep hitting the target by producing up and coming stars like Shenseea, Govana, and Jahvillani, with these artists under their banner, we can all expect to hear more of them.

Head Concussion Records

The Head concussion record owned and operated by music producer Tarik ‘Rvssian’ Johnston. Head concussion records have worked with notable artists such as Demarco, Tarrus Riley, and Blak Ryno. This label represents the best mix of age, culture, music, and production. Head Concussion entered the international market with its track ‘platinum-certified’ by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) after Sean Paul’s and Farruko ‘Passion Whine’ hit. From riddims, instrumentals, mix tapes, and overall music production, Head Concussion Records does it all.

Jamaica – The best cruise destination

Jamaica cruise ship pier ocho rios

To date, there are five cruise docks in Jamaica. They are in Falmouth, Ocho Rios, Port Royal, Montego Bay, and Port Antonio. These shipping docks strategically placed throughout the island offer tourists the best experience within meters of them arriving on the island. Jamaican music can specialize art vendors on the docks to guided tours and activities to where every guest may see fit. We know Jamaicans to excel in the entertainment of tourists. Now, let us talk about each port and what you can expect upon arrival. 

Ocho Rios Port

Ocho Rios is as calm and beautiful as its name suggests. We regard the Ocho Rios Cruise Port as the top cruise destination in Jamaica. One favorite among tourists, Ocho Rios, offers the best of what visitors will look for within walking distance from the port. A memorable year for cruises in Ocho Rios was in 2009 when over 200 cruise ships visited and docked in the Ocho Rios Port with over 870,000 passengers and crew members.

Visit Mystic Mountain and zip line through nature. Climb the Dunn’s River Falls, see the dolphins at Dolphin Cove and enjoy some coconut water while driving through fern gully. These are experiences you do not want to miss and will remember forever. You can also try horseback riding, visit the Bob Marley Experience, and discover the Green Grotto Caves. For sure, you will not run out of things to do in Ocho Rios. 

Port Antonio Port

Dock into the Errol Flynn Marina and be greeted by waving children standing on the pier. Enjoy the peaceful and serene beauty of Port Antonio almost immediately after leaving the ship. Visit the French man’s Cove resort, and enjoy the beautiful beach, pay a visit to the trident Castle, go rafting down the Rio Grande, or pay a visit to Maroon Town. Enjoy the streams in the countryside or the sound of the river flowing in the hills. Nature lovers will almost definitely come back to Port Antonio for an extended stay as there is so much to do and experience.   

Falmouth Port

Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier Jamaica

The Falmouth Port opened in 2011; Its beautiful historical building stands proud in the beautiful capital of Trelawny. Falmouth offers a wide range of activities that is fun for the entire family. Enjoy the Falmouth Swamp Safari animal park, take a tour of the great houses, go rafting on Martha Brae River, Tour the Hampden Rum Estate, stop at the local store along the pier, and do not forget to visit the local beaches in Falmouth. 

Montego Bay Port

Home to the second-largest port in Jamaica. Montego Bay is known for its upbeat nightlife and desired activities. With excursions and activities like All-Terrain Buggy Adventure, vast golf courses, Catamaran Sail and Snorkel not to mention Secrets Adult All-Inclusive Beach Adventure; you can be sure that there is something for everyone. Take time to mingle with the locals in one of Jamaica’s famous nightclubs. You can also check out Chukka Kayak and Zipline, Horseback Ride, and then you would see why Montego-bay is a favorite cruise destination when compared to other Caribbean countries.

Port Royal Port

In 2018 the Port Royal Port was re-established with the aid of a floating-pier walk called Seawalk. Port Royal is an attraction within itself as in 1692; Port Royal was the main trading port for pirates and travelers until, in that same year, an earthquake sank the entire area. While the city has been through many transformations, it is today known as a historical landmark and home to the newest cruise port on the island just a short distance away from Kingston. There is an endless amount of activities between Port Royal and Kingston. Most persons would agree that if you want to view an authentic Jamaican life, you may want to spend some time in Kingston, Jamaica.

They are fusing cultural heritage, history, and the uniqueness of the island. Cruising here offers an exclusive look into the life of the everyday Jamaican. Please take an in-depth tour of Port Royal, discover its history, take pictures inside its sunken buildings, and see what it has come to be. Visit the Bob Marley museum and get a chance to see the single bed he sings so passionately about. Hike the blue mountains or visit the famous Devon’s house for Ice-cream. Visitors especially love the variety of artwork and paintings available for purchase; these will make incredible memorabilia they can remember and talk about for a long time to come. 

Things to keep in mind when traveling on a cruise to Jamaica:

  • Local taxis and transportation are available near the ports for approximately $4 US depending on the distance. 
  • Arrangements can be made for local tour guides, licensed with the Ministry of Tourism on the island, to ensure you get the best from your Jamaican experience or if you feel unsafe.
  • You can always check out your local cruise operator. Hotel receptionist or even Airbnb Experience for the area to ensure you have the best time you can. 
  • Remember your sunscreen and shades if you need them, travel with water, and enjoy your time in Jamaica.

Why Do Jamaicans Run so Fast?

usian bolt jamaica

Is it a bird? A plane? A jet? No, it’s a Jamaican athlete.  Why do Jamaicans run so fast?

Whether male, female, whatever age group they are, and how they grew up. Jamaicans are well known as some of the fastest runners in the world. Breaking world records and bringing home some of the most significant rewards in the athletic arena. Jamaica is home to only 2.8 million people, yet the little island is home to both the fastest man and the fastest woman in the world. One may wonder, however, how do Jamaicans run so fast?

Theories – why Jamaicans run fast

We have heard so many theories, and so many of them make sense and could serve as a possible answer. So far, a favorite is the identification of a “speed gene” found in persons who are from West Africa (where our ancestors come from). One study stated that “a larger than average heart facilitates a faster flow of oxygen to the muscles.” This faster flow of oxygen then causes the person to move faster. This theory holds its credit has there has been evidence of exceptional sprinters dating back to the 1950s. But of course, many say this theory is just that; a theory.

Professor Morrison, President of the University of Technology, told the Jamaica Observer that two staples crops found in Jamaica were to be credited for the Jamaican athletes’ success. These are the Jamaican Yam and Green Bananas. Professor Morrison, who has studied the speed of the sprinter, does think the Jamaican food that most Jamaican children are grown on is to be credited for the athletes’ success.

Homegrown sprint stars at ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Champions

Some persons also think that the success of our Jamaican athletes should be accredited to the efforts of school and our institutes have placed in fostering young people towards sports. One such event is the ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Champions. A competition that schools and students that are aspiring to become athletes look forward to every year to make their names known in the Jamaican athletics arena. Training for Champs from high school days gives the Jamaican athletes a chance to train and get used to the art of the sport before even becoming an athlete. This holds on its own, as both the fastest man and the fastest woman in the world participate in the ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Champions.

usain blake and jamaican runners

One thing from the first view Jamaican’ athletes are fast sprinters due to several factors and no one thing. Their discipline, passion, talent, and all the hard work that our athletes put in when the cameras are off, and no one is looking. What they consume is also one of those factors—the right healthy food consumed from childhood that dispenses just the proper nutrients that they need to succeed.

The answer to our question may be complicated and not quickly answered, Whatever the reason for the exceptional speed of our Jamaican athletes. Be it the ‘speed gene’ that makes our athletes so fast or children being active and running from a young age—our investment in sporting activities from the high school stage or our fresh air and healthy food. One thing is for sure Jamaica does have some of the fastest runners in the world, a trend we do not see being broken anytime soon.