Over two decades Reggae Report Magazine showcased Jamaican artists to the world. From Beenie Man to Black Uhuru to Dawn Penn, we delivered interviews, articles, and photos that highlighted the music’s pioneers and introduced upcoming Reggae artists. Many of these young performers have gone on to become huge stars. A large portion of these headshots have been incorporated into my new eBook dubbed “Reggae Trilogy: 200+ 80s & 90s Artist Headshots-Vol. 1.” Educational and entertaining narratives are positioned before each of the 13 categories. Here are 10 of the foremost Reggae and Dancehall Headshots from the ’80s and ’90s! Enjoy!
1. Damian Marley 1995 – The Marleys
At 13 years old, Damian formed his first band called The Shepherds. His solo career began following this young band’s demise. In 1993, he released two singles that introduced him as a DJ on the rise. We caught up with 16-year-old Damian following the release of 1995’s Sony/Epic single “School Controversy” from the Positively Reggae CD.
“…a lot of people who don’t know who I am will treat me differently when they find out I am Bob Marley’s son; they change and I don’t like that.”
~ Damian Marley
Reggae Report V13#04 1995 – Bob Marley 11th Anniversary Tribute Issue
2. Toots Hibbert 1992 – The Legends
Frederick “Toots” Hibbert has been mesmerizing the music scene since the early ‘60s. His crisp, soulful tenor provides every lyric and melody with a bittersweet edge. Although without dreadlocks, Toots has always been a Rasta at heart. His music taught love and it has never failed to bring people together.
“…Reggae means real music… music that tells a good story, music you can relate to… music you can make sense out of.”
~ Toots Hibbert
Reggae Report V10#07 1992 – The Living Legends Issue
3. Black Uhuru 1992 – The Groups
The 1992 version of the Rasta-inspired bredren from the Waterhouse area of Kingston consisted of founding member Duckie Simpson, and singers Don Carlos and Garth Dennis. Never a group to “jump on the bandwagon,” Duckie let the DJ craze play out while he and the group stuck to creating uplifting, consciousness music.
“We know fe sing, people haffi listen, cah we consistent…we nah sing nursery rhymes…serious tune we ah sing.”
Reggae Report V10#08 1992
4. Mutabaruka 1989 – Dub Poets
The never timid warrior of the written word found his voice at a 1989 concert in Jamaica. Appalled by the slackness spewed by DJs, and the favorable response from women in attendance, Muta could not accept how “women who supposed to be intelligent…can hear a man…talk about them in that way (disrespectfully.)”
~ Reggae Report V07#03 1989
“I write a poem
That my poem can create
5. Beenie Man 1995 – Dancehall Rules!
With the aid and guidance of the Shocking Vibes Crew and Island Jamaica, 23-year-old Beenie Man blasted from being a local favorite to an international star. The popular DJ is a self-taught musician and self-proclaimed extrovert. He discusses his three children and life “uptown” after a hardscrabble childhood.
“I have grown very attached to my stage work…my formula…is a good frame of mind…whenever I am happy on stage, my fans are usually happy as well.”
Reggae Report V13#09 1995
6. Chalice 1986 – Bands
Chalice is recognized as one of the premier bands out of Jamaica. Singers Wayne Armond and Trevor Roper sizzle when energized by the highly-rated drummer Desi Jones. Their stage shows send out lightning bolts to the audience—large or small—and the quality of the music is uplifting and distinctively Chalice!
“To me, [Turkey 1985] has been the biggest response to date for the group. They didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t know what to expect…we both came on…a level and…the response—Boom!”
Reggae Report V04#02 1986
7. Ernest “Ernie” Ranglin 1989 – Musicians
Ernie’s interest in music began as a 5-year-old child listening to his uncles play guitar. He had created his own instruments before being gifted with his first guitar by those uncles. A self-taught musician, he honed his skills reading guitar books. He joined his first band at age 16. In 1955, his interest in music therapy took hold. The life and career of Ernie Ranglin is legendary.
“…the stars, the planets [have] its own keynote…12 planets… music is 12 tones… Music can charm a snake.”
Reggae Report V07#09 1989
8. Jimmy Cliff – Mid-1980s – Singers
Born during a hurricane in Somerton, St. James, Jamaica, Jimmy Cliff has spent his life honoring and respecting the planet. His theme of Oneness (also the name of his band and his studio) permeates everything he does. What he has learned about the music business could fill volumes. Jimmy became a friend in 1981 and became a major supporter and source of inspiration.
“I feel there are two kinds of people on this planet: Those who are trying to save planet Earth and those who are trying to destroy it…I am one of those who wants to save it…Let’s all come together and save our planet Earth.”
Reggae Report V14#10 1996
9. Dawn Penn 1994 – Women
Kingston-born Dawn Penn is best known for “You Don’t Love Me (No No No),” first released on the Studio One label in the 60s. The song was brought back to life—and to a whole new generation of fans—with the Steely & Clevie produced remake in the early 90s, and released on Big Beat/Atlantic Records in 1994.
“A great song is a great song, regardless of the genre it falls into…actually, [No No No] transcends genre.
Reggae Report V12#07 1994
10. Clint O’Neil 1986 – Industry Pros & Personalities
Miami’s “velvet voice” was a beloved DJ on WLRN’s 100,000-watt radio throughout the 80s & 90s. Fans from Key West to Palm Beach, the Bahamas to Georgia tuned into “Sounds of the Caribbean.” Born in Manchester, Jamaica, Clint O’ got his first break in the mid-70s on NYC’s WHBI radio. Clint was also a record and show producer, as well as the founder of the Clint O’Neil Toy Drive to benefit Jamaica’s hospitalized children.
“[My desire] is to see that everyone in the world has the pleasure of hearing one Reggae song.”
Reggae Report V04#01 1986