Top 9 Reggae Singers You Need to Know

These artists forged their own paths with reggae music and used it to advocate for social justice while spreading love and unity in society.

Bunny Wailer has long been recognized as one of the most iconic voices in Jamaica. A founding member of The Wailers, Bunny has since embarked upon his solo career.Listen to all the best Reggae singer songs free on Mp3juice without any login.

1. Peter Tosh

Peter Tosh was revered as one of Jamaica’s premier musical figures and an activist who advocated against police brutality, drug law reform, and equal rights issues.

Born Winston Hubert McIntosh in rural Jamaica, Tosh became familiar with both local “mento” music as well as American radio broadcast rhythm and blues stations. Too poor to afford one himself, Tosh created one out of wood and tin sheet.

This book is packed with anecdotes and quotes about Tosh that illustrate his humanity, yet his effort to live according to biblical verse “Sin is death”. While at times Tosh could be hot-headed or impolite when working with women he still managed to smoke too much marijuana while simultaneously struggling to maintain his dignity in response to Western ideas that he disapproved of and disdained.

2. Bunny Wailer

Bunny Wailer was less well-known than Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, yet was an important member of one of Jamaican music’s most iconic bands – one called Bunny and His Wailers. A deeply religious man, Bunny frequently used his music as a platform to advocate for social justice through songs such as “Botha the Mosquito” and “Rise and Shine”, as well as one called Fighting Against Conviction which stands as one of reggae music’s premier protest songs. Bunny Wailer’s all the Best album is now available on Tubidy.

He recorded predominantly in the roots style, with Blackheart Man being widely recognized as one of its classic records. Additionally, Sings the Wailers served as a tribute to former bandmates with new versions of their songs being included on it.

Bunny Wailer was an adaptable singer known for his rhythm. His voice could be soulful, while his playful demeanor often made for entertaining performances at Jamaican dances and internationally. His songs had an upbeat, lively feel perfect for dancing to at Jamaican events as well as globally.

3. Gregory Isaacs

Gregory Isaacs drew inspiration from R&B greats Sam Cooke and Percy Sledge when crafting his velvety-smooth crooning style, often using his lyrics to tackle social injustices in music he created himself. From mourning the loss of a loved one or recalling life in Kingston’s ghetto to condemning criminals at General Penitentiary he conveyed an array of feelings through his songs.

Isaacs released his first single in 1967 and enjoyed moderate success until an unfortunate drug habit caused him to spend six months behind bars. Following release from prison, Isaacs released Red Rose for Gregory in 1988 as part of the Roots Radics band’s supporting album Red Rose For Gregory.

Reggae artist Bob Marley is widely credited for popularising his genre in the UK, while former member of R&B boyband One Direction Zayn Malik lists him as a major influence in his music and has even described him as his favourite artist of all time.

4. Sizzla

Sizzla has brought reggae into the 21st century with his socially conscious lyrics and captivating stage presence. Born into reggae royalty, Sizzla has released multiple albums over time while continuing to spread spirituality and social change messages among young artists.

Miguel Orlando Collins, commonly known by his stage name Sizzla Kalonji, hails from St Mary and August Town in Jamaica. Raised within a religious family environment and as an avid adherent to Rastafarianism – particularly Bobo Ashanti branch – his influences include saxophonist Dean Fraser and singer Luciano, whom he has collaborated with on many recordings.

His silky-smooth tenor has been used to celebrate romance, describe life in Kingston ghetto and express heartbreak over love lost. Additionally, he is also an outspoken social activist against violence and drugs campaigns; performing for Mobb Deep as guest performer as well as having his own record label, Kalonji Records.

5. Marsha Griffiths

Marcia Griffiths, commonly referred to as ‘the Queen of Reggae,’ has had an enormous influence on reggae music for more than fifty years. A vocal powerhouse who blends traditional roots reggae, dancehall, and hip hop into her performances; championing women in music industry careers while being an avid philanthropist.

Toots Hibbert was an iconic Jamaican artist known for his raspy yet soulful vocals. A member of The Maytals band that helped define reggae and ska music genres. One of Toots’s most well-known songs was Electric Boogie which launched an electric slide dance craze across USA.

Gregory Isaacs was an iconic Jamaican singer known for his laid back, romantic style. Nicknamed “Cool Ruler”, his smooth tenor and emotive songs celebrated love, described Kingston ghetto life or lamented drug dependency; timeless reggae classics like Night Nurse”, Out Deh”, Mr Cop” and Red Rose for Gregory” stand as testaments of this.

6. Toots Hibbert

Toots Hibbert’s gospel upbringing and Rastafarian religious beliefs inspired him to compose songs on themes of love, spirituality and racial justice. Otis Redding, Ray Charles and Wilson Pickett were his primary musical influences. Together with Raleigh Gordon and Jerry Mathias in 1962 he co-founded The Maytals band which quickly became a major touring act opening for bands like The Who and Eagles.

Hibbert and The Maytals recorded a collection of classic southern soul tracks on their Grammy-nominated album Toots in Memphis in the late ’80s, inspiring bands such as Massive Attack to fuse reggae, R&B and other genres into their music. This album featured their beautiful harmonies while showing how far this genre had come.

Hibbert released his final album, Got to Be Tough, in 2020 as his last plea for humanity at a time of climate destruction, economic inequity, and social inequality. This powerful plea represents a fitting conclusion to one of reggae music’s early giants’ career arc.

7. The Melodians

This song boasts a catchy guitar riff and lyrics that advocate unity and hope, making it an anthem for global social change. Furthermore, this track serves as an excellent demonstration of how reggae fuses musical genres such as funk and disco together in its composition.

The Melodians were a Jamaican rocksteady harmony trio consisting of Tony Brevett, Brent Dowe, and Trevor McNaughton who first performed together at amateur talent shows before going professional. Their vocal harmonies proved especially effective during this song which explored immigrant hardships.

Reggae began developing as an influential genre during the late 1960s from ska and rocksteady music. Influenced by Rastafarianism, which was popular with artists at that time such as Burning Spear (“Door Peep”, 1969) and The Abyssinians (“Satta Amasa Gana”, 1970), Reggae also saw The Melodians reform in early 1980s to release new material under their Lyric to Rhythm moniker; unfortunately Brent Dowe passed away two years later leaving McNaughton and Brevettt to carry on their legacy of Reggae music.

8. The Abyssinians

With the palace revolution, heresy returned like an evil spirit and missionaries were hunted and persecuted by schismatic clergy. At one point a mob threatened to burn down Father de Jacobus’ church; but luckily he managed to flee back into Egypt safely.

The Abyssinians first gained notoriety with their 1968 release of Rastafarian hymn “Satta Massagana” on Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One label. This track, which championed spiritual and social liberation, became an influential reggae anthem that established both genre’s religious and secular identities simultaneously.

Reunited at the Jamaican Festival of the Arts in 1978, and then recording Forward Onto Zion for Clinch label in 1980 (later reissued by Heartbeat with two fantastic dub sets), but by mid-1980 their reunion had dissipated once again.

9. Yohan Marley

Ziggy Marley, son of Bob Marley, continues his father’s legacy through music that draws upon ska, rocksteady and Rastafarian spirituality influences. His songs focus on love, unity and freedom as themes.

He is best-known for introducing reggae music to an international audience with his 1972 film ‘The Harder They Come’ and recording of its title song ‘Many Rivers to Cross’ for it, which has since been covered by several artists of different genres as an anthem of hope in times of trouble.

Winston Rodney, better known by his stage name Burning Spear, was an early pioneer of reggae music. Born and raised in Saint Ann’s Bay’s Nine Mile district, Rodney took an early interest in Jamaican culture and heritage that would shape his musical path later. His debut album Exodus released in 1977 brought together these elements for great success.

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