Reggae music has its origins in Jamaica in the mid 1960’s, emerging through ska and rocksteady styles of music that were popular at the time. It is heavy based with a driving rhythm. When one thinks of Jamaica, it’s hard not to think of reggae music. Many great reggae artists emerged, with several of them using their music as a platform to speak of social injustice and praise Jah, although others kept the lyrics a little more light-hearted. Here are 10 of the best Reggae bands or performers of all time.
1. Bob Marley & The Wailers
The most iconic reggae artists ever, Bob Marley & Wailers brought reggae music to a more international stage. The Wailers got their start in 1963 as a ska group with Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh.
Band members changed throughout the decades and although Marley & Tosh passed many years ago, different formations of The Wailers still tour. Bunny Wailer lives in Jamaica to this day.
The Wailers songs were very political, talking of injustices in Jamaica and the world over. Their influence can be heard in several genres of music. Their children and family members carry on the reggae torch performing internationally to this day.
2. Burning Spear
After an encounter with Bob Marley while walking up the hills of St. Ann’s in Jamaica, Burning Spear (Winston Rodney) went to Studio One on Marley’s suggestion and started recording reggae music.
Burning Spear has been performing for over 40 years and spreads a message of love and peace to his fans.
He makes his music and performances spiritually uplifting as he delivers his message and the beliefs of political activist, Marcus Garvey. He still performs to this day and if there’s a chance to see him, take it.