THE CARIBBEAN SUPER MUSICIANS
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The Caribbean is a beautiful, tropical grouping of over 700 islands, islets, cays, and reefs, and is broken up into 30 territories. The clear, blue waters surrounding these islands are full of tropical fish and sea life. Several famous actors, athletes, and musicians are of Caribbean descent. Some of these celebrities were born in Jamaica, while others were born in Barbados. The Caribbean Community has been exporting creative and intellectual talent to and growing talent within the U.S. for many decades. The Caribbean islands beckon tourists from across the globe, as they are blessed with powdery white sand beaches, palm trees, waterfalls, and wildlife. The islands offer vacationers snorkeling, fruity drinks, nightlife, and dazzling music, ranging from reggae to calypso to salsa. Some of the famous people of Caribbean descent on this list may even surprise you.
1. BOB MARLEY(Jamaica)
Hey mon, Bob Marley was not simply a Jamaican reggae singer but instead a trailblazer for the genre. He was also a cultural phenomenon, a symbol of Jamaica, and a Rastafari icon. Marley released reggae, ska, and rocksteady music as a solo artist as well as collaboratively with others. Specifically, in 1963 he formed a group called Bob Marley and the Wailers, together with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, later adding other Jamaican musicians.
Five of Marley's albums are on Rolling Stone's list of "500 Greatest Albums of All Time." However, "Roots, Rock, Reggae" (1976) was the only single to reach the US Billboard hot 100. Bob Marley had 11 acknowledged children with seven different women before his death from melanoma at age 36. Some of these children, such as his first child, Ziggy, have ventured into the performing music business like their father.
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It's been a long climb for an island girl from Barbados to the top of the worldwide music charts. Pop and R&B superstar Rihanna came from modest beginnings. Growing up in Barbados, she struggled with an unstable family environment, faced down personal illness, and never graduated from high school.
However, upon being discovered by an American record producer in 2003, the young songbird left her past behind. After wowing Jay-Z, she was quickly signed to his Def Jam Recordings music label.
In 2010, Rihanna set a Guinness Book world record as the female artist with the most US number-one singles in a year. By 2019, she had become the richest female musician in the world and had snagged multiple Grammy Awards along the way.
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3.Gloria Estefan (Cuba)
Gloria Estefan is a native Cuban, born under the name of Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo García. As a child, she fled Havana during the Cuban Revolution with her family for a better life
in the United States. Her mother endeavored to support the family on a teacher's salary after Gloria's father was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
In 1975, the future Grammy Award winner met fellow Cuban musician Emilio Estefan, Jr. while his band (then called the Miami Latin Boys) performed at a wedding that Gloria and her cousin were attending as guests. When the girls sang two songs extemporaneously, the band asked them to join them as full-time vocalists. The group subsequently morphed into the Miami Sound Machine. Gloria and Emilio married three years later.
Decades after the Latin pop artist fled Cuba, she would earn accolades to include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement.
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4. Nicki Minaj (Trinidad and Tobago)
Nicki Minaj is known for her colorful wigs, costumes, and her accents as much as she is for her sexually provocative lyrics and rapid-paced vocals. Some people regard the singer and rapper as the "black Lady Gaga" for her fashion choices. The future Queen of Rap was born in Port of Spain, the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago, to two part-time gospel singers. Sadly, her father was a violent drug addict who burned down the family's home in an attempt to kill Minaj's mother. Perhaps it was her disruptive childhood that prompted Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty to develop alter egos, other personas who could cope with her emotional needs. The family relocated to the Bronx in New York City when she was only five. Minaj spent her youth building her skills in acting and singing
In 2009, the Trinidadian musician was discovered by rapper Lil Wayne and signed to a recording contract. She later appeared as a judge on American Idol and contributed to several major films. In 2017, the hip-hop artist set a Guinness Book of World Records for the most Billboard Hot 100 entries by a solo (female) artist. Amazingly, seven of Minaj's singles were simultaneously on the chart. The Caribbean girl from a troubled family has become one of the most influential people in the world. Minaj has experienced resounding success on the mainstream pop, R&B, and rap charts.
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5. Wyclef Jean (Haiti)
If you aren't into rap music, perhaps you still might recognize Wyclef Jean as a featured artist from hits such as "No, No, No" by Destiny's Child (1997) or Shakira's "Hits Don't Lie" (2006). Jean is a Haitian rapper and singer who relocated to the US with his family when he was only nine.
In the 1980s, the Caribbean native formed a hip-hop trio called the Fugees (short for "refugees") with Lauryn Hill and fellow Haitian-American Pras Michel. They were met with moderate success. The group had one single break the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, thereby technically making the Fugees a one-hit wonder. Before disbanding in 1997 to pursue solo careers, the Fugees placed several other songs on the R&B charts.
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6. Billy Ocean (Trinidad and Tobago)
If you remember that Grammy Award-winning 1984 pop song, "Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run," then it only seems right that the man who sang it would be from the Caribbean himself. Billy Ocean is the stage name for Leslie Sebastian Charles, who was born in Trinidad. His father was a local calypso musician, and his mother also sang. The family moved to London when Ocean was 10 years old, and although he retains an island accent from his boyhood, today the vocalist regards himself as British.
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7. Sean Kingston (Jamaica)
Reggae fusion and hip-hop artist Sean Kingston was born in America under the name Kisean Paul Anderson, but he moved to Jamaica as a young child. Music ran in his family; his grandfather was a major Jamaican record producer. Kingston borrowed his stage name from Jamaica's capital since he is a Jamaican singer.
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8. Omi (Jamaica)
Known mononymously as Omi, Omar Samuel Pasley is a Jamaican singer whose single, "Cheerleader" was a worldwide smash hit in 2014. So far, he has been unable to follow up the success of the song with another hit in the US, thereby making him a one-hit wonder.
"Cheerleader" is a buoyant, tropical, and playful number that describes the narrator's commitment to his significant other. Other women who might otherwise catch a man's eye do not tempt this guy because he values his girlfriend's physical beauty and the deep emotional support she provides him. There are some things that are irreplaceable.
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9.The Baha Men (The Bahamas)
Did we ever resolve who actually let the dogs out? This contagious ditty from 2000 ("Who Let the Dogs Out?") was the first and only hit for the chill Caribbean group known as The Baha Men. They point out it actually has zero to do with dogs of the canine variety. Instead, it's a man-bashing song, can you believe?
Although the tune was a global hit, it didn't achieve significant success in the US until it was featured in the soundtrack for the animated film Rugrats in Paris: The Movie and became an anthem at athletic events. Then, it was ubiquitous. Ironically, the song won a Grammy Award but was also named to several "most annoying song" or "worst song ever" lists. Ah yepee ah yo! You can't please everyone!
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10.Boney M. (Aruba, Jamaica, Montserrat)
Sometimes groups that tear up the rest of the world are slow to impress an American audience. So was the case for Boney M. During the disco era of the 1970s, the Euro-Caribbean vocal group was known throughout the world for hits such as "Daddy Cool" (1976), "Sunny" (1976), "Ma Baker" (1977), "Rasputin" (1977), and the Caribbean Christmas tune, "Mary's Boy Child – Oh My Lord" (1978). They sold over 100 million records in all. However, in America, only "Rivers of Babylon"/"Brown Girl in the Ring" (1978) cracked the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100.
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Boney M's original lineup included members from three different Caribbean countries: Liz Mitchell and Marcia Barrett from Jamaica, Maizie Williams from Montserrat and Bobby Farrell from Aruba. Williams and Farrell never sang on the records but did sing in live performances. Their record producer was Frank Farian, the same German record producer who was behind the infamous duo Milli Vanilli in the early 1990s.