Attending Reggae and music festivals at a young age, Growing up with reggae being played throughout our small sleepy home which sat nuzzled up in a small wooded town. Amongst many other genre’s the partents rocked out to, I found myself strongly influenced by Reggae music. So you could say… We are over do on doing a post on influential women in Reggae and dancehall. Even without the male artists, the female reggae artists carry heavyweights, lyricists, fashionistas, and again–enough diversity and authentic talent to warrant recognition and celebration. Their lyrics make women have a strong presence and claim a large space in reggae music.-Meme
Images and artist are in no particular order.
This list of female reggae artists probably consists of the most recognized artists to the amateur reggae fan. It serves as a platform to explore women of the genre further. These women should not be forgotten and should be added to the list of “greats” that we so highly favor in reggae music.
Taken From Inity Weekly
Marcia Griffiths- Dubbed the “Empress of Reggae,” Marcia Griffiths has maintained a successful singing career. Her crossover hit, “Electric Boogie,” made the line dance, the Electric Slide, an international craze which also earned her the privilege of having the highest selling reggae single by a female artist to date.
Rita Marley- Santiago de Cuba
In the mid 1960s, Rita met Bob after meeting Peter Tosh. After it was learned that she was a singer, she was asked to audition for the Soulettes, later known as the I Threes. The group included Rita, her cousin Constantine “Dream” Walker, and Marlene “Precious” Giffordwas. Bob became the group’s mentor and manager and through working together, he and Rita fell in love.
She founded the Rita Marley Foundation in 2000. She has also adopted 35 children in Ethiopia and has assisted over 200 children in Konkonuru Methodist School in Ghana and made a commitment to positively impact their lives.Rita has six children, three from other relationships and three with Bob. Bob adopted Rita’s two children as his own and they have the Marley name. Bob has 13 children in total: the two of Rita’s that he adopted, three born to Rita, and the remaining eight with separate women.
Lady Saw- Saint Mary, Jamaica
Lady Saw is a Jamaican reggae singer, known as the queen of dancehall.
Hall began performing with sound systems at the age of fifteen. She soon became known for her slack style, with songs such as “Stab Up De Meat.” Her performances were banned in some parts of Jamaica, though equally lewd male performances were not. This prompted her to record “Freedom of Speech” in protest.She enjoyed a big hit in Jamaica with “Hardcore” in 1985, and followed it with “Welding Torch.” She also recorded “Condom,” warning girls of the dangers of unprotected heterosexual sex. By the mid-1990s she had moved towards “conscious” lyrics.
Sister Carol-Kingston, Jamaica
When she was 14, her family immigrated to Brooklyn, New York. East soon became involved in the Jamaican music scene.A true testament of her resilient spirit and energy spans nearly three decades in a male dominated industry, Sister Carol is a trailblazer for women in reggae. Her music carries a social message for people all over the world. Her message is rich with cultural heritage and infused with a vital social consciousness that permeates every aspect of life in the new millennium. (Hence her title as “Mother Culture”) She has maintained a loyal fan base across the globe from Kingston – to Queens, Ethiopia to England, Detroit, Denver, East coast to West coast – Sister Carol reigns as the Queen of Reggae.
started singing and DJ’ing at the age of 13 in Copenhagen, where she performed live with Miss Mukupa and McEmzee in the band, No Name Requested. During that period, she also performed along with Queen Latifah and gained popularity in Jamaica. In 1998, while in training to become a professional jockey, she fell off her horse. This slowed her career.
Natasja, was a Danish rapper and reggae singer whose vocals on a popular reggae fusion remix of “Calabria” gained her worldwide fame and a number one spot on Billboard’s Hot Dance Airplay chart six months after her death in a car accident. RIP Natasja
Dezarie – Saint Croix, Virgin Islands
Dezarie is a female roots reggae singer born in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. She received Atlanta’s “Best New Female Reggae Artist” award in 2001 before returning to St. Croix. She works closely with band Midnite.
Tanya Stephens-Kingston, Jamaica
“I don’t think that’s really fair to me at all,” says Stephens, 31. “I want to be judged equally across the board for males and females based on the merit of my work. I don’t see myself as a girl. I see myself as an artist,as a person, as an individual.”
“We have a hierarchy to the point now, “she continues. “The female category is below the male category. Even if I’m at the top of the female category, I would still be considered below the male.”
Queen Ifrica- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Queen Ifrica is a reggae singer and deejay from the hills above Montego Bay, Jamaica. She is the daughter of ska music legend Derrick Morgan. A Rastafarian by faith, she is known for her work in the community and for writing songs about deeply personal subject matter in songs such as Below the Waist and Daddy. However, the subject matter of her work also has expressed homophobia, such as in Keep It To Yourself.
Sista Nancy -Kingston, Jamaica
She is known to the world as the first female dancehall DJ and was described as being a “dominating female voice for over two decades” on the dancehall scene. One of her most famous songs is “Bam Bam”, labeled as a “well-known reggae anthem” by BBC and a “classic” by The Observer.
Queen Omega- San Fernando, Trinidad
Queen Omega was born in Trinidad. She used to sing harmonies for soca bands before lending her talents to reggae music. Already hailed for her songwriting ability, vocal performance, honesty of expression and lyrical vision, she has delivered singles, as “Warning” and “Highest High” (feat. Capleton & Sizzla) and a captivating debut album.
Queen Omega is one of the world’s hottest up-and-coming reggae stars. A strict Rastafarian, Queen Omega delivers conscious lyrics with a positive message in a voice that combines the style of classic reggae divas like Judy Mowatt with jazz and souls influences like Aretha Franklin.
1 – marie Pierre – walk away
2- Barbara Jones – Just When I Needed You Most
3 -June Lodge – Someone Loves You Honey.
4- Lorna Bennett – Breakfast In Bed
5-Sharon Forrester – Silly, Wasn’t I
6 – marie pierre – nothing gained
7-Marie Pierre – Can’t Go Through With Life
8-Louisa Mark – Keep it like it is
Women of reggae not mentioned in post but still recognized!
Judy Mowatt, Althea and Donna, Dawn Penn, Millie Small, Puma Jones,Phyllis Dillon, Lady G, Etana, Ce’Cile, Sasha, Judy Wowatt,Nadine Sutherland,Tifa, Timberlee, Macka Diamond, and Stacious.
Rastafarianism History HereThe Rastafari movement is a “messianic religio-political movement” 1 that began in the Jamaican slums in the 1920s and 30s. The most famous Rastafari is Bob Marley, whose reggae music gained the Jamaican movement international recognition.
There is significant variation within the Rastafari movement and no formal organization. Some Rastafarians see Rasta more as a way of life than a religion. But uniting the diverse movement is belief in the divinity and/or messiahship of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I, the influence of Jamaican culture, resistance of oppression, and pride in African heritage.
The Rastafarian lifestyle usually includes ritual use of marijuana, avoidance of alcohol, the wearing of one’s hair in dreadlocks, and vegetarianism.