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Reggae Music and the Grammys

Jamaicans in general still dominate the Reggae category for the Grammy award however J Boogs and Common Kings, who are Pacific Islanders, being included in the current crop of nominees have a shot at being the first non-Jamaican to win a reggae Grammy.

The 60th edition of the Grammy awards is right around the corner on January 28th, 2018. The five nominees in the reggae category are.

  • Chronology – Chronixx
  • Lost In Paradise – Common Kings
  • Wash House Ting – J Boog
  • Stony Hill – Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley
  • Avrakedabra – Morgan Heritage

Jamaicans in general still dominate the Reggae category for the Grammy award however J Boogs and Common Kings, who are Pacific Islanders, being included in the current crop of nominees have a shot at being the second non-Jamaicans to win a Reggae Grammy. Steel Pulse was the first. Since the Reggae Grammy was established in 1985 there have been 32 winners overall, with 18 unique individual winners. The first ever Reggae Grammy was awarded to the legendary band Black Uhuru for their album Anthem. There have been a total of seven reggae bands to win a Grammy. They are.

  • Black Uhuru (1985)
  • Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers (1989, 1990,1998)
  • Steel Pulse (1987)
  • Inner Circle (1994)
  • Morgan Heritage (2016)
  • Burning Spear (2000, 2009)
  • Toots and the Maytals (2005)
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Reggae Grammy winners through the years

Among the non-band winners there have been 4 dancehall artists. Shabba Ranks being the first.

  • Shabba Ranks (1992, 1993)
  • Shaggy (1996)
  • Beenie Man (2001)
  • Sean Paul (2004)

Ziggy Marley is currently the king on the reggae Grammy with 7. Four of Ziggy’s wins were as a solo artist and the remaining three with his band the Melody Makers. Ziggy Marley is also a two-time back to back Grammy winner. The only other reggae artist to win a back to back Reggae Grammy is Shabba Ranks. The Marley dominance of the Reggae Grammy is significant. Someone from the Marley clan has won approximately 38% percent of all Grammy’s ever awarded. With Damian Marley’s nomination this time around, that dominance may very well continue. Even though Bob Marley died before the first Reggae Gammy was awarded, he was posthumously awarded with a lifetime achievement award in 2012.

There have been 7 multi-award winners of the Reggae Grammy. They are.

  • Jimmy Cliff (1986, 2013)
  • Ziggy Marely (1989,1990, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2017)
  • Shabba Ranks (1992, 1993)
  • Bunny Wailer (1991, 1995)
  • Damian Marley (2002, 2006)
  • Stephen Marley (2008, 2010, 2012)
  • Burning Spear (2000, 2009)
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