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reggae

The influence of reggae on modern pop music is enormous, particularly in the United Kingdom, where a large immigrant workforce first began importing the sounds of the Caribbean in the 1950's.
Reggae itself is derived from "rocksteady" - a slowed down version of ska better suited to Jamaica's heat. Ska in turn was an early 1960's development of New Orleans r&b, the sounds having been picked up by Jamaican musicians from radio broadcasts in the United States. Influential in the early period of ska's development were The Skatalites, particularly Jackie Mitoo, and Prince Buster.
One of the first reggae artists to make it big outside Jamaica was Desmond Dekker, who had hits with "The Israelites", "Problems" and "It Mek" in 1968 and 1969, at about the same time as Jimmy Cliff was finding a wider audience for his more mainstream sound.
U.S. born Johnny Nash did a lot to promote the style's wider acceptance with the self-penned hit "I Can See Clearly Now " in 1972, but reggae finally produced it's first star of international standing in the mid 1970's, when Bob Marley unleashed a brand of folk-influenced reggae-pop, ( with political undertones ) which spoke to people of all race, colour and creed the world over.
Some of Marley's seminal recordings in the early 1970's were produced by Lee 'Scratch' Perry, who is widely held to be the architect of the transition from ska to the new reggae-pop sound, a sound taken up and used by the likes of Eddy Grant and The Police in the 1970's and evident in "Uptown Top Ranking", the one-off U.K. hit in 1978 for Althea & Donna .
Leading reggae proponents in the 1980's include Maxi Priest, The Specials, UB40, The Selecter and Madness, who led the so-called 2-Tone and ska / mod revivals of that decade in the U.K.
Some elements initially based in reggae, particularly "toasting" - i.e. talking over - music by DJ's and MC's, and the mixing techniques found in "dub" ( an instrumental form of reggae ), have had a big influence on the development of later styles, most notably rap and the reggae / rap hybrid known as "ragga".

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Prominent songwriters

Prince Buster
Desmond Dekker
Jimmy Cliff
Dandy Livingstone
Johnny Nash
Lee "Scratch" Perry
Bob Marley
Eddy Grant
Maxi Priest
Jerry Dammers
Noel Davies

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audio : Reggae

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audio : Reggae

books : about Reggae