Top Reggae Icons of All Time

If there is one genre which revolutionised the music landscape, it is reggae. Invented in Jamaica, reggae went on to become popular across the world. And while there have been many reggae greats in history, there are those who took this music to a whole new level. To them, reggae was a way of life; it was a culture. They include the following.

Bob Marley

Believe it or not, Bob Marley was and continues to be the face of reggae music. If any neutral person were to name only one influential reggae artist, they would quickly think of Bob. His stardom came while working with The Wailers, one of the greatest reggae music bands ever. And while he sang apparently peaceful songs, his music had political undertones, with struggle, redemption, and love as the running themes. Some of his greatest hits included No Woman No Cry, Redemption Song, and One Love. He is remembered as one of the organisers of the One Love Peace Concert, which is perhaps the most extraordinary reggae concert of all time. This 1978 event was hosted in Jamaica, and it brought together different political opponents in the country, prompting them to make peace.


Born in Kingston, Jamaica, the epicentre of reggae music, it was only natural that Sizzla would become one of the reggae greats in history. Many reggae lovers would agree that Sizzla is one of the most influential figures of modern roots. If you listen to most artists that came after him, you’ll quickly notice Sizzla’s influence in their works. This guy is also arguably the finest Jamaican songwriter. Some of his hits include Da Real Ting and Praise Ye Jah.

Burning Spear

What a name! Burning Spear, whose real name was Winston Rodney, was born in 1945 in Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica. He is remembered for his 1975 landmark album, in which he praised the late Marcus Garvey; a very influential activist, orator, entrepreneur, and journalist in Jamaica, in the early 20th century.

Other names that deserve to appear on this list include the following:

  • Gregory Isaacs
  • Peter Tosh
  • Jimmy Cliff
  • Beres Hammond
  • Desmond Dekker

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