Mento, Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae, Folk Music, Dub Music, Dancehall, and Reggae Fusion are just some of the music types you can find in Jamaica. These music types have given birth to some of the most excellent Jamaican musicians and artists, who are known worldwide, some of whom are no longer with us. Here we discuss some musical legends and their contribution to Jamaican music while they were alive.
Bob Marley: (February 1945-May 1981)
By far, one of the most well known and beloved musicians and artists to come from Jamaica. Marley was instrumental in introducing reggae music to the masses and encouraging and uniting persons through his positive music. If Marley were still alive, he would be the third richest man in Jamaican with a net worth of over US 1.3 million. Bob Marley has won several awards; Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Peace Medal of the Third World, and The Order of Merit. Marley’s most popular songs were ‘One Love One Heart’, ‘Could you be loved’, ‘Iron Lion Zion’, ‘No woman No Cry’, and ‘Sun is Shining’.
Gregory Issacs: (July 1951–October 2010)
Issacs nicknamed ‘the cool ruler’ is known for his smooth, calm, emotion-stirring songs. Gregory Issacs had been nominated for the Grammy’s five times, four times for the best reggae album, and once for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording. Gregory Isaacs’ best performing album is called ‘Night Nurse.’ And his songs are still widely played across Jamaica.
Dennis Brown: (February 1957 – July 1999)
Another amazing talent is Dennis Brown. Crowned by Bob Marley as ‘The Crown Prince of Reggae, ‘ Brown started his musical career at the tender age of eleven. Brown was a hit in Jamaica as well as the UK with songs like ‘Money in my Pocket’ and ‘Westbound Train.’ While being nominated three times, it is a shocker to many that Dennis Brown never won a grammy award. And only one of Brown’s songs made the billboard holding the 42nd position for ten weeks. Dennis Brown is renowned as one of the Jamaican legends in the lover’s rock and reggae arena.
Garnett Silk: (April 1966 – December 1994)
Named at birth Garnett Damion Smith, died at only 28 years old, Garnett Silk was a talented singer and songwriter who prided himself on singing his original lyrics. Songs such as ‘Problem Everywhere,’ ‘no disrespect,’ and ‘it’s growing’ still demands screams and raves whenever played in the dancehall and on the radio.
Millie Small: (October 1947 – May 2020)
Singer of the global and world-known ‘My Boy Lollipop,’ Millie Small was a little lady with a big voice—known to be a sweet, funny, talented singer who traveled the world performing on television shows and concerts. The tune of this hit song introduced ska to the international stage. It showed the world that Jamaica is not only talented with reggae and dancehall but also ska. Her debuts ‘Sugar Plum’ and ‘We’ll Meet’ caught the attention of international eyes, thus moving to London, England, in 1963. For her contribution to reggae music, Ms. Smalls received the Order Of Distinction In The Rank Of Commander from the Jamaica Government in 2011.