The premier Jamaican community website Jamaicans.com has compiled a list of the top Jamaicans searched for by the site’s visitors. The list, which is ranked in order of the total number of searches, uses the search metrics at Jamaicans.com. The top five in the ranking are Rita Marley, Rebecca Silvera, Sean Paul, Shaggy, and Suzanne McFadyen. See the entire list below.
1. Suzanne McFayden
Author, collector of modern and contemporary art, and sponsor of national and international humanitarian efforts to end hunger, Suzanne McFayden was born in Kingston in 1985. A former student of Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha), an all-girls high school in Kingston, McFayden is the author of the self-help book, “How to Be a Superwoman.” She has a BA degree in French literature from Cornell University and an MFA in Writing from Mills College. In 2009, she was named to the Hedgebrook Writer in Residence program and invited to return in 2020. She is a board member of the Blanton Museum at the University of Texas in Austin, the Studio Museum of Harlem in New York City, and is on the Pratt Institute’s DEIA Committee. McFayden is one of a small number of independent women art collectors and focuses her personal collection on works that reflect her identity, which is stated on her website as a Black woman, “mother, immigrant, a traveler, survivor, writer, other.” She was the first wife of billionaire Robert F. Smith, an American businessman, philanthropist, chemical engineer the founder, chairman, and CEO of investment firm Vista Equity Partners, and one of the wealthiest people in the United States. She met Smith while studying at Cornell University. They married in 1988 and later divorced.
2. Sean Paul
The reggae/dancehall singer, songwriter, and producer Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henriques was born in 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica. His great-grandfather on his father’s side came to Jamaica from Portugal in the 17th century. He is of Sephardic Jewish-Afro-Jamaican, English, and Chinese-Jamaica descent. Many of his family members have excelled in the sport of swimming; his grandfather was a member of the first national water polo team from Jamaica, and his father played water polo for the team during the 1960s and was a long-distance competitive swimmer. Paul himself played for Jamaica’s national water polo team from the age of 13 to 21, giving up the sport to pursue his career in music. He attended Hillel Academy, Wolmer’s Boys’ School, and the University of Technology. Former producer and manager Jeremy Harding was told about Paul by his brother and met the singer when Paul came to his studio looking for advice. At that meeting, Paul and Harding created the song “Baby Girl” and decided it was good enough to develop more tracks and seek radio airplay. Paul had a cameo appearance in the film “Belly” in 1998 and also had successful collaborations with DMX and Mr. Vegas. Paul released his debut album in 2000, “Stage One,” on the VP Records label. His breakthrough came with his second album, “Dutty Rock,” which ultimately sold six million copies worldwide and is cited as instrumental in developing the dancehall pop genre. He signed with Island Records in 2016, citing Toots and the Maytals as his inspiration for career longevity. Paul received the Order of Distinction, Commander Class, from Jamaica’s government in 2019 for his contributions to the promotion and popularity of reggae music around the world. In 2021, he released his seventh studio album “Live N Livin” under his own label, Dutty Rock Productions. In 2012, Paul married his long-time partner Jodie Steward, a Jamaican television host, and the couple had their first child Levi Blaze in 2017 and their second Remi in 2019.
3. Cindy Breakspeare
Cindy Breakspeare is a former Ms. Jamaica, Ms. World, model and singer. She was born in Canada bit migrated to when she was four years old. She began modeling at a young age, eventually becoming a Miss World winner in 1976. After her reign as Miss World, Breakspeare continued to model and also pursued a career in music, releasing several reggae singles. She is also known for her relationship with reggae artist Bob Marley, with whom she had a son, Damian Marley. Breakspeare has remained active in the entertainment industry.
4. Peter Tosh
Jamaican recording star Peter Tosh was born Winston Hubert McIntosh in Westmoreland, Jamaica, in 1944. Abandoned by his parents, he lived with various relatives until he was 15 and moved to Trenchtown in Kingston. He learned to play the guitar by watching a man play the same song for half a day and memorizing what he did. In the 1960s, he took free music lessons from focal teacher Joe Higgs. Through Higgs, Tosh met Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer, and they began performing as a trio in 1962. He helped to organize the Wailing Wailers, a band in which he was the only one who could play an instrument. The group had a hit with “Simmer Down,” their first single, and had several others before disbanding in 1965. When Marley returned to Jamaica from the US, both Tosh and Bunny Wailer were involved with the Rastafari faith, and they renamed their group The Wailers, as to “wail” means ‘to mourn” or “express one’s feelings vocally.” He claimed to be the person who taught Marley how to play guitar. Tosh promoted the legalization of marijuana and participated in the global opposition to apartheid in South Africa. In 1987, he won a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Performance for his last record “No Nuclear War.”
5. Dale Elliott
Social media vlogger, actor, and comedian Dale Elliott, 23, was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and is best known for his star turn in the film “Sprinter,” which has been called one of the best films to come from Jamaica. The film’s director Storm Saulter cast the actor in the film’s lead role after seeing Elliott in a video on social media imitating his grandmother. Elliott now makes his home in Los Angeles and continues to create comedy content for his Instagram, YouTube and Facebook platforms. Elliott was raised by his grandmothers in Pembroke Hall and Harbor View in Jamaica. He attended Kingston College, where he represented the school in track and field at the ISSA Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Championships. He earned a BA in international relations at the University of the West Indies in 2019. His successful video postings to social media led him to an influencer management agency, STUSH Marketing, and he began to create brand content for companies like FLOW, KFC, Jamaica National, and the Jamaica Environmental Association. He has said that his role in “Sprinter” presented no real challenges to him as an actor because it was so similar to his own life story: that of a talented track and field athlete who dreams of leaving Jamaica to see his parents, who had migrated abroad
6. Rita Marley
Alpharita Constantia Anderson Marley was born in Santiago de Cuba in 1946, but was raised by her Aunt Viola in Kingston, Jamaica. The Jamaican singer was a member of the I Threes with Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt, the backup vocalists for Bob Marley and The Wailers. She is the widow of Bob Marley, who she married in 1966, and the mother of three of his children: Cedella Marley, Ziggy Marley, and Stephen Marley. She also has three children from other relationships: Serita Stewart, and Sharon Marley and Stephanie Marley were adopted by Bob Marley after his marriage to Rita. She survived being shot in the head during the assassination attempt on Bob Marley in 1976. After Bob Marley’s death, Rita recorded several solo albums, and in 1986, converted the house where she had lived with Bob into the Bob Marley Museum. She is also the founder and chair of the Robert Marley Foundation, the Bob Marley Trust, and the Bob Marley Group of Companies. She has adopted 35 children in Ethiopia and provided aid to more than 200 children at the Konkonuru Methodist School Ghana. She established the Rita Marley Foundation in 2000, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization focused on ending poverty and hunger in developing countries. Rita Marley was presented with the Order of Distinction from Jamaica’s government in 1998 and received the Marcus Garvey Lifetime Award in 2010. She became an honorary citizen of Ghana in 2013 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of the West Indies in 2015. She had a serious stroke in 2016, which took her out of the public eye for some time. In 2019 she was presented with the Iconic Award for a Duo/Group with the other members of the I Threes by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association.
7. Marcia Griffiths
Marcia Llyneth Griffiths was born in 1949 in West Kingston and began her career as a stage performer with Byron Lee and the Dragonaires in 1964. After that performance, Clement Dodd and Ronnie Nasralla offered her recording contracts. She went with Dodd’s Studio One label and recorded several duets with male singers, including Bob Marley. She worked with Bob Andy as a duo from 1970 to 1974, and from 1974 to 1981, she was a member of the I Threes, the backup singers for Bob Marley and The Wailers. Her re-recording of Bunny Wailer’s song “Electric Boogie” was released in 1983 and became a minor hit for her. When it was remixed in 1989, however, it made the line dance “Electric Slide” a global phenomenon that reached Number 51 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list. This was her most successful single. She was featured on “True Love” by Toots and the Maytals, which won the Best Reggae Album Grammy in 2004. Griffiths made an appearance in the documentary film “Reggae Got Soul: The Story of Toots and the Maytals” on BBC in 2011. In 2014, as part of her 50th year in the music business, she released an album of her favorite songs by other artists. Also in 2014, she received the Jamaican Order of Distinction (Commander class) from Jamaica’s government.
8. Buju Banton
9. Una Morgan
Una Morgan is a reggae singer/songwriter of Jamaican descent. She is the daughter of reggae Legend, Ras Denroy Morgan. Along with her sibling she is a member of the Grammy Award winning group, Morgan Heritage. In addition to her music career, Morgan is also known for her activism and philanthropy work, particularly in the areas of education and gender equality. She has been recognized for her contributions to the music industry and her efforts to make a positive impact in her community.