Jamaica is a Caribbean island nation that has a lush topography of mountains, rainforests and reef lined beaches. It is famed as the birthplace of Reggae music and its capital, Kingston houses fantastic places to go to. Jamaica may be a small nation but it has provided the world with stalwarts throughout time.
Some of the most famous personalities that Jamaica has provided are:
1. Bob Marley
The first on this list and definitely on everyone’s minds, born Nesta Robert Marley, he became known as the Ambassador of Third World music and sold over 75 million reggae albums worldwide. He died of cancer at Miami in Florida. Although of mixed race, he identified as Black and was a big supporter of the Rastafari movement.
2. Usain Bolt
This 30 year old Jamaican is quite possibly the fastest human on Earth. He is a record breaking sprinter who earned the name “Lightning Bolt” and became the first man to win Gold in the 100 metre event at three separate Olympics in 2008,2012 and 2016. He also became the first athlete to be named IAAF World Athlete of the Year five times.
3. Sean Paul
Paul is a Jamaican rapper who was born on January 9, 1973 at Kingston, the capital of Jamaica. He has collaborated with a number of artists such as Beyonce, Akon, Snoop Dogg and Rihanna. His 2002 album “Dutty Rock” reached number 1 on the US Rap Billboard charts and went RIAA double platinum.
OMI is a musician mostly with an interest in the genre of pop. His real name is Omar Pasley but he goes by his stage name more often. He is a singer and songwriter of the urban pop genre managed by Clifton Dillion of Shang Records Label. He has gone on record and said that his inspirations include Nat King Cole and John Legend.
5. Raheem Sterling
He is a Jamaican soccer winger who joined Liverpool and received his first cap as a member of the English national team in 2012. He began his youth career with the Queens Park Rangers at age 10. He was born in Kingston and raised by a single mother, the two of them eventually relocated to London when Raheem was still a child.
He served in the Military during the operation Desert Storm, 48 year old reggae pop singer and rapper was born in Kingston in Jamaica. In 1996, his album Boombastic won the Best Reggae Album award at the 51st Grammy awards. He married Rebecca Packer in 2014 and has two children named Richard and Sydney Burell.
7. Millie Small
She is a Jamaican singer song writer known for her 1964 cover of The Cadillac’s song “My boy lollipop and popularised the “bluebeat” style. Her success was significant because it was also the first hit that came out of Island Records. She and Roy Panton recorded as Roy and Millie when she was a teenager.
8. Chris Gayle
Captain of the West Indies Test cricket club from 2007 to 2010, during which time he recorded two triple centuries. He set a number of records during his career, once recording the highest individual T20 score of 175 in a match. He played with Kingston’s renowned Lucas Cricket Club which he said saved him from a life on the streets.
9. Ruby Turner
Turner is a soul singer with a gifted voice. In addition to her eight UK Charting singles between 1986 and 1995, she achieved the rare feat for a Jamaican singer of reaching the number one spot on the US R and B chart with her song “It’s gonna be alright”. She recorded with UB40 early in her music career and was first signed a solo artist with Jive Records.
10. Yohan Blake
27 year old Yohan Blake is a Jamaican born runner nicknamed “the beast”. He won the silver medal in the 200m and 100m races at the 2012 London Games. He is said to have enjoyed cricket when he was younger but was encouraged to pursue track. He also took gold in 2011 World Championships 100m race and in the 2012 London 4x100m relay.
11. Shelly Ann Fraser
12. Andrew Trabass
13. Sandra Denton
14. Marcus Garvey
15. Elease Donovan
16. Peter Thomas
17. Luther Brown
18. Sanya Richards
19. Grace Jones
As you can see, Jamaica is in no way far behind any other country or place when it comes to producing famous personalities. The rich culture and heritage of the nation has propelled its music to the forefront. Even the number of sports personalities that have emerged from Jamaica is enough to arouse envy in the minds of others.