Reggae music developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s with stylistic origins in rocksteady and ska. When reggae music started in the 1960s, it was mostly thought of as folk music. This formed a strong sense of community based on common ethnic backgrounds and life experiences.
Toots & the Maytals – Funky Kingston
Some early reggae musicians or bands are Toots & the Maytals, Clancy Eccles, The Pioneers, and Larry Marshall. In the 1970s, reggae music made the transition to being considered a popular music around the world. This was due in large part to Bob Marley, who is probably the most recognizable reggae artist of all time.
Bob Marley – No Woman No Cry
His albums have sold millions of copies worldwide and are still largely popular today. Although Bob Marley is a perfect example of reggae as popular music, Marley’s music has also made its way into that of the “art music” discourse as it has been taken seriously by music critics and in their criticism. In fact, Time Magazine recognized Marley’s 1977 “Exodus” album as the “Album of the 20th Century”.
Bob Marley – One Love (The song was featured on Marley’s Exodus album)
Bob Marley – All In One
Today, Marley is considered a music legend, as during his lifetime he was able to use his music to connect to millions of people around the world.
Morgan Heritage – Nothing to Smile About
In addition to Bob Marley, the music of more recent reggae artists and bands, such as Morgan Heritage, Beres Hammond, Freddie McGregor, Beenie Man, and Sean Paul, have also been considered popular music and thereby continuing the reggae tradition for a new generation of listeners.
Beres Hammond – Tempted to Touch
Sean Paul – Gimme The Light