LocationLaurelton NY United States
Sounds LikePeter Tosh, Culture,
Digital Locationwww.burningspear.net musicpage.com/burningspear
HistoryMember since: 04/27/2012 Year Founded: 1979
- Original material: 23 hrs : 00 min
- Average Draw: 8,000
- Largest crowd: 25,000
- Have sound: No PA
- Original Songs:
- CDs released: 45
- CDs sold: 30000
- Digital songs sold: 30000
Some artists transcend the need for awards, but are nonetheless deserving of decades of accolade.
Burning Spear is such an artist.
A music-maker, community icon, educator, spiritual uplifter; Burning Spear's importance to culture existed before media spotlight, and has only grown since.
For nearly four decades and more than 25 albums, he has carried the torch of the gospel of political activist Marcus Garvey, promoting self-determination and self-reliance for African descendants through lyrics and rhythms that truly deliver the messages of peace and love to all.
Not surprisingly, Burning Spear's path in music began with a fateful encounter with Bob Marley. Both were living in the St. Ann's parish of Jamaica. As Spear (born Winston Rodney) recalls, "The way the whole thing came about is that I found myself moving along up in the hills of St. Ann's and I ran into Bob at the same time. And Bob was going to his farm. The man was moving with a donkey and some buckets and a fork, and cutlass and plants. We just reason man-to-man and I-man say wherein I would like to get involved in the music business. And Bob say, ‘All right, just check Studio One."' It was there Spear recording his first two classic albums, Burning Spear and Rocking Time.
With this solid foundation, Spear recorded for Island Records throughout the 1970s, releasing three records (Marcus Garvey, Man in the Hills, and Garvey's Ghost) that elevated the face of reggae music in the international scene. In the 1980s, he exercised his well-earned creative control by launching his own label through EMI and releasing Hail H.I.M., which was recorded at Marley's Tuff Gong studios. Resistance, released in 1985, was Grammy-nominated, but it wasn't until Calling Rastafari hit hard in 2000 that Spear finally won the award.
This achievement presented another new journey for Burning Spear. In the 2000s, he is now not only a guiding light in the reggae community, but he continues to be a creator, ceaselessly recording under the Burning Spear Music label, and releasing unique live material. He was again awarded a Grammy for 2009's Jah is Real.
Spear's energetic and epic live shows have not diminished over the years. He performs all over the world, in clubs and at festivals, to sold-out audiences of all ages.
Currently in the studio working on more original music, Burning Spear is one of the few true men who started as a musician, and ended up so much more: an innovator with an international platform for his message of love.
(Note: Musicpage limits the number of albums released and sold, so please refer to the information in the biography for answers to those questions)
Jamaica GleanerFebruary 10, 2009
Burning Spear on fire with second Grammy
Published: Tuesday | February 10, 2009
Burning Spear, born Winston Rodney, collects his award for Best Reggae Album for 'Jahis Real' at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, on Sunday. - AP
BURNING SPEAR, one of the survivors of reggae's golden era, won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The 64-year-old roots singer's Jah Is Real beat Vibes, by singer/rapper Heavy D, Let's Get Physical, by deejay Elephant Man, Shaggy's Intoxication, Lee 'Scratch' Perry's Repentance and Amazing, by Sly and Robbie.
It is Spear's second Grammy win. He also won in 1999, with Calling Rastafari.
Jah Is Real was released in August by Spear's Burning Music label and was largely distributed through the Internet.
Unknown in Jamaica
Like several past winners of the Best Reggae Album category, Jah Is Real is unknown in Jamaica. Let's Get Physical, which got a strong push from rap mogul P Diddy's Bad Boy Records, and Intoxication were hits locally and got favourable airplay in the United States.
Born in St Ann, Burning Spear (real name Winston Rodney) is a reggae legend. Along with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, he introduced roots-reggae to an international audience during the 1970s.
Like Marley, he first made a mark at producer Clement Dodd's Studio One studio. In the 1970s, Spear established himself with the landmark albums, Garvey's Ghost, Marcus Garvey and Man In The Hills.