Background: Reggae - Around 1960, in the slums of Kingston Jamaica, where the local bands were playing a musical mixture of American R&B, Caribbean, and pan-African sounds, drummers began to emphasize the afterbeat, the 2nd and 4th beats (4/4 time) in unison with the piano and guitar while the bass played walking quarter notes. The musicians called the sound "Upside-down R&B". It soon became known as "Ska". As time passed Ska slowed the beat, lost it's brass sound and morphed into "Rocksteady", performed with fewer musicians and using more harmony vocals. Around 1968 the influences of Rastafari and Africanism along with political and social unrest in Jamaica gave birth to "Reggae", with a slower, stripped-down, less "Pop-like" sound often with accents added on the 3rd beat. Today the term "Reggae" applies broadly to all the Jamaican born music that contains the original afterbeat rhythm.
Criteria: - These Reggae artists were chosen on thier impact, lasting popularity, influence, and talent in Traditional and Contemporary Reggae music.
Newly added names are in Red
Edited By: Lew
Last Updated: 2009-03-27