Most reggae fans all know that Jimmy Cliff, Shabba Ranks and Shaggy are great reggae artistes but maybe less than a handful would refer to any of the three as being the greatest ever. 18 Karat Reggae will demonstrate, however, why these three are actually the greatest.
There is something that these have in common and it is the fact that they are the only three artistes to have ever won a Grammy when a Marley was among the list of nominees. Yes, Cliff; Shabba and Shaggy are the only non-Marley reggae artistes to ever beat out a Marley to win a Reggae Grammy award.
A lot of people don’t realize that although Bob Marley is considered the king of Reggae music, Jimmy Cliff is actually the first pioneer to take the music on the international stage. It was the movie “The harder they come” and the accompanying soundtrack of the same name that actually introduced reggae to the world. Jimmy Cliff was signed to Island record and was well on his way to sitting in the reggae throne until greed drove him to perform in apartheid South Africa. Needless to say there was a huge backlash and the “Sitting in limbo” singer saw his career come crashing down.
Shabba Ranks is special in the trinity for the fact that he is the only non-Marley in the history of Reggae music to ever win back to back Reggae Grammy Award. He also beat out Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers to take home a Grammy Award in 1992 with his “Raw as ever album”.
A lot of people might not realize this but Shaggy has sold more albums than Bob Marley. He was also the last reggae artiste to beat out a Marley for a Grammy award. In 1996, Shaggy’s Boombastic album won the Grammy over Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers who were nominated for their album “Free like we want 2 B”.
Most of the Marleys Reggae Grammy Awards are flukes and a travesty to the culture. However, the fact that Cliff, Shabba and Shaggy put out such high quality product that even the wicked who want to tarnish and destroy Black culture could not deny the quality means that these three should definitely be considered the greatest reggae artistes ever.
They are truly the trinity of Reggae Music.