Burning Spear’s impact on reggae music is profound. A true legend, Spear’s legacy through his music is one of self-reliance and self-determination for the African diaspora. With a career spanning over six decades, his message remains on point and his vocal delivery is as powerful as it is identifiable.
Winston Rodney began his music career in the late 1960s, attributing his start to a fateful encounter with Bob Marley. Both were living in the St. Ann’s parish of Jamaica. As Spear recalls, “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 that Spear recorded his first two classic albums, “Burning Spear” and “Rocking Time.”
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Burning Spear rocked the reggae world, releasing acclaimed albums such as “Social Living,” “Hail H.I.M.” and “Resistance.” His music evolved to incorporate elements of jazz, funk, and rock, while maintaining its solid roots reggae foundation.
Burning Spear has won two Grammy Awards for Best Reggae Album; one at the 42nd Grammy Awards in 2000 for “Calling Rastafari,” and one for 2009’s “Jah Is Real.” He has been nominated for a total of 12 Grammy™ Awards. He was awarded the Jamaican government’s Order of Distinction for outstanding services to music in 2007.
Since establishing their own label Burning Music Records, Winston and Sonia Rodney have released nearly forty singles, CDs, DVDs and vinyl albums on the Burning Music imprint.
In addition to his music career, Burning Spear is a dedicated anti-racism activist and philanthropist. He has been involved in various social and political causes throughout his career, including the fight against apartheid in South Africa and the struggle for independence in Zimbabwe.
Burning Spear’s legacy as a reggae icon is everlasting, and his music continues to inspire and uplift audiences around the world. His influence can be heard in the work of countless artists who have followed in his footsteps, and his message of love and unity remain as relevant today as ever.
SNWMF is thrilled and honored to welcome Burning Spear to SNWMF 2023!
Studio One Presents Burning Spear (1973), FAB
Rocking Time (1974), FAB
Marcus Garvey (1975), Island
Garvey’s Ghost (1976), Island
Man in the Hills (1976), Island
Dry & Heavy (1977), Island
Social Living (1978), Stop – also released as Marcus’ Children
Living Dub Vol. 1 (1979), Rita Marley Music
Hail H.I.M. (1980), Radic
Living Dub Vol. 2 (1980), Rita Marley Music
Farover (1982), Radic
The Fittest of the Fittest (1983), Radic
Resistance (1985), Heartbeat
People of the World (1986), Greensleeves/Slash
Mistress Music (1988), Greensleeves/Slash
Mek We Dweet (1990), Mango
Jah Kingdom (1991), Mango
The World Should Know (1993), Heartbeat
Rasta Business (1995), Heartbeat
Living Dub Vol. 3 (1996), Declic
Appointment with His Majesty (1997), Heartbeat
Living Dub Vol. 4 (1998), Musidisc
Calling Rastafari (1999), Heartbeat
Free Man (2003), Nocturne
Our Music (2005), Burning
Living Dub Vol. 5 (2006), Collective
Jah Is Real (2008), Burning
Living Dub Vol. 6 (2008), Burning
Live (1977), Island
Live in Paris Zenith ’88 (1989), Slash
Love & Peace: Burning Spear Live! (1994), Heartbeat
(A)live in Concert 97 (1998), Musidisc
Live at Montreaux Jazz Festival 2001 (2001), Terra Firma
Live in South Africa 2000 (2004), Revolver