If you're looking for famous reggae artists who will keep you jamming like you're on a beach in Jamaica, these are the folks you want to check out.
Bob Marley is perhaps the most famous of all reggae artists. A famed Rastafarian and the son of a white British man and a Jamaican black woman, Marley started performing reggae in Jamaica with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer in a group they called the Wailers. You'll be hard-pressed to find people who haven't heard Bob Marley's song titled "Three Little Birds." The line "every little thing gonna be alright" has the power to make people smile when life gets tough, acting as a legacy for an artist who died in 1981. His son, Ziggy Marley, still performs pop and reggae music today.
Peter Tosh grew up in a slum in Kingston, Jamaica, but he connected with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer and became the guitarist for the Wailers. He was an active Rastafarian and famous part of The Wailers. Eventually he went solo, best known for his song "Legalize It" about legalizing marijuana and the album No Nuclear War, which won a Grammy in 1988.
Bunny Wailer was part of the Wailers, but he veered off of a straight reggae path and got into producing pop dancehall music. His music always retained some of his reggae roots, but once he went out on his own, he developed a distinctly different quality to it than Peter Tosh or Bob Marley. He is well known for the album Blackheart Man.
Burning Spear has been nominated for 11 Grammy Awards over the course of his career. Spear paid special attention to Bob Marley's style; he was considered a Marley protégé. His music from the 1970s is the most like Bob Marley's work, but he is still recorded, celebrated and played today. Burning Spear is perhaps the most well known current reggae artist, who tries to promote a message of peace and world unity when he tours. Check out his Resistance album.
The word "uhuru" means "freedom." This reggae group focuses on a message of peace, freedom and equality for all people. Formed in the mid 1970s, this Waterhouse district of Kingston, Jamaica, this band took reggae by storm. They joined forced with another reggae band, Sly and Robbie, in the mid 1980s. Their Red album is considered one of the most popular reggae albums in a long and successful career.
Jimmy Cliff became famous for his music and acting performance in the movie The Harder They Come, which introduced reggae music to much of the world that was not familiar with this genre before this film. Try out his self-titled album for classic examples of his work.
If you're into female reggae singers, you'll want to check out every one of the entertainers on this list. If you're new to the musical scene, these are some of the boldest women in the genre.