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Reggae Nation

Bob Marley

Bob Marley, a reggae leader, died of cancer in 1980.

Reggae is undoubtedly the most well-known form of music to emerge from Jamaica. Taking its roots from African villages, ska, American R&B and other genres, reggae is heavy on thumping slow backbeats and passionate words and sounds. The style became a distinct genre in the 1960s.

Jamaican Bob Marley was the world’s most influential reggae musician, as well as one of the original musicians of the style. He began his career singing in mostly ska and rocksteady rhythms, but after his 1974 album, Burnin’, he crossed over to reggae beats. His later hits “No Woman, No Cry” and “One Love” are popular examples of reggae. Messages of peace, patriotism and political independence are common themes.

Other popular reggae artists of the time included Jimmy Cliff and Peter Tosh. Many of Bob Marley’s children now play reggae music and tour, such as Ziggy and Damian “Jr. Gong.”

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