Bob Marley
Catch a Fire
Jimmy Cliff
Lee "Scratch" Perry

Reggae

Reggae is a music unique to Jamiaca, but it ironically has its roots in New Orleans R&B. Reggae's direct forefather is ska, an uptempo, rhythmic variation based on the New Orleans R&B Jamaican musicians heard broadcast from the US on their transistor radios. Relying on skittering guitar and syncopated rhythms, ska was their interpretation of R&B and it was quite popular in the early '60s. However, during one very hot summer, it was too hot to either play or dance to ska, so the beat was slowed down and reggae was born. Since then, reggae has proven to be as versatile as the blues, as it lends itself to a number of interpretations, from the melodic rock steady of Alton Ellis and the rock and folk-influenced songwriting of Bob Marley to the trippy, near-psychedelic soundscapes of dub artists like Lee "Scratch" Perry. It has crossed into the mainstream through the bright, bouncy "reggae sunsplash" festivals and pop-oriented bands like UB40, but more adventurous reggae artists, such as Marley and Perry, have influenced countless reggae, folk, rock and dance artists. Their contributions resonate throughout popular music.

Reggae Artists Highlights grid list

Bob Marley
Bob Marley
Jimmy Cliff
Jimmy Cliff
Lee "Scratch" Perry
Lee "Scratch" Perry
Desmond Dekker
Desmond Dekker
Toots & the Maytals
Toots & the Maytals
The Wailers
The Wailers
Horace Andy
Horace Andy
Ziggy Marley
Ziggy Marley
Sly & Robbie
Sly & Robbie
Burning Spear
Burning Spear
Mad Professor
Mad Professor
Buju Banton
Buju Banton
Gregory Isaacs
Gregory Isaacs
Dennis Brown
Dennis Brown
Black Uhuru
Black Uhuru
Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh
Freddie McGregor
Freddie McGregor
Sugar Minott
Sugar Minott
Yellowman
Yellowman
UB40
UB40
Culture
Culture
The Skatalites
The Skatalites
Barrington Levy
Barrington Levy
Jackie Mittoo
Jackie Mittoo
Bob Marley & the Wailers
Bob Marley & the Wailers
Shabba Ranks
Shabba Ranks
Bad Brains
Bad Brains
Mad Cobra
Mad Cobra
Shaggy
Shaggy
H.R.
H.R.
The Wailing Souls
The Wailing Souls
Inner Circle
Inner Circle
Maxi Priest
Maxi Priest
Third World
Third World
Bounty Killer
Bounty Killer
Aswad
Aswad
Alpha Blondy
Alpha Blondy
Ini Kamoze
Ini Kamoze
Judy Mowatt
Judy Mowatt
Eddy Grant
Eddy Grant
The Itals
The Itals
Mikey Dread
Mikey Dread
Steel Pulse
Steel Pulse
J.J. Johnson
J.J. Johnson
Chaka Demus & Pliers
Chaka Demus & Pliers
Linton Kwesi Johnson
Linton Kwesi Johnson
Junior Murvin
Junior Murvin
Bill Laswell
Bill Laswell

Reggae subgenres and styles