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The Impact of Reggae on World Music

            â€œOne love, one heart…let’s get together and feel all right.” These ten immortal words from the legendary Robert Nesta Marley have reached the four corners of the globe and then some. From the well-known bass riffs from the four-two-four beat pulsating throughout hits from Peter Tosh, the Marley clan and Jimmy Cliff to the considerably faster, heavier, louder bass lines of dancehall music from artistes like Elephant Man, Vybz Kartel and Bounty Killer, reggae music has made a marked impact on world music. American, British as well as Trinidian artistes of different genres have shown reggae’s impact on international music in their own productions.
             Reggae has been described as a pervasive genre of music, as well as the only new form of music (except calypso/soca) to emerge in the last one hundred years. Artistes of different genres have collaborated with Jamaican artistes to produce Billboard chart-topping hits. For example, rock group No Doubt joined forces with Bounty Killer and the world was treated to the then unusual mix of American alternative/rock and reggae in the hit “Hey Baby” and Beyonce Knowles, lead singer of the American R&B group Destiny’s Child, recently worked with well-known Jamaican deejay Sean Paul Henriques to produce the track “Baby Boy”. Lauryn Hill formerly of the Haitian hip-hop trio The Fugees teamed up with Bob Marley to re-make his hit “Turn Your Lights Down Low”. What made this collaboration so unique is the fact that Marley was not alive when Hill did the song. Thanks to cutting-edge technology in the recording business, Hill could literally sing alongside the late, great Marley.
             In the United Kingdom, UB40 has been hailed as “Britain’s Premier Reggae Band”. The group has been entertaining millions of reggae fans worldwide with their own style of reggae for over twenty-one years.

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