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Terence 'Astro' Wilson of UB40 64, Dies After Short Illness
UB40's Astro Dead at 64

UB40's Astro Dead at 64

The British performer helped bring reggae to the mainstream

(Newser) - Terence Wilson, one of the earliest members of the British reggae pop band UB40, has died after a short illness. He was known to friends and fans as Astro—a nickname he picked up wearing Doc Martens Astronaut boots. Astro joined UB40 in 1979, before they started cranking out number...

Reggae Legend Who Founded Band With Bob Marley Dies

Jamaica mourns 'conscious brethren' Bunny Wailer

(Newser) - Bunny Wailer, a reggae luminary who was the last surviving member of the legendary group The Wailers, died on Tuesday in his native Jamaica, according to his manager. He was 73. Wailer, a baritone singer whose birth name is Neville Livingston, formed The Wailers in 1963 with late superstars Bob...

A Father of Reggae Is Dead at 77
A Father of Reggae
Is Dead at 77

A Father of Reggae Is Dead at 77

Toots Hibbert of Toots & the Maytals had been in a medically induced coma since earlier this month

(Newser) - Toots Hibbert, one of reggae's founders and most beloved stars who gave the music its name and later helped make it an international movement through such classics as "Pressure Drop," "Monkey Man," and "Funky Kingston," has died. He was 77. Hibbert, frontman of...

UN Bestows Protected Status Onto Reggae Music

Musical genre added to UNESCO list of items promoted for their 'intangible cultural heritage'

(Newser) - The UN is going to bat for Bob Marley. And Peter Tosh, and Toots and the Maytals, and all reggae music, really, as the musical genre has just been added to a list of protection-worthy items based on "intangible cultural heritage," the BBC reports. That's because of...

Goodbye Snoop Dogg, Hello Snoop Lion

Snoop adopts new monicker for reggae album

(Newser) - Snoop Dogg is branching out into new musical styles and more intimidating animal pseudonyms. His Snoopness is about to release a reggae album, under the new monicker Snoop Lion, Rolling Stone reports. His first single, "La La La," is available now, and according to his website, "Snoop...

Bloodsucker Named After ... Bob Marley

10 years after its discovery, new parasite gets a famous name

(Newser) - More than 30 years after his death, Bob Marley has a new, strange accomplishment. Researchers at Arkansas State University have named a parasitic crustacean that makes its home in warm Caribbean waters after the late reggae star, reports LiveScience . It doesn't seem like Gnathia marleyi shares Marley's "...

Reggae's Gregory Isaacs Dead at 59

 Dead at 59 

Reggae's Gregory Isaacs Dead at 59

'Exquisite vocalist' had been battling lung cancer

(Newser) - Reggae superstar Gregory Isaacs died at his London home today at age 59 after a battle with lung cancer, the Washington Post reports. Isaacs was known for popularizing “lover’s rock,” a reggae style that dealt with romance and relationships rather than the political themes embraced by the...

Ziggy Marley Creates Comic Book Hero: Marijuanaman

Look for him next year (on 4/20)

(Newser) - It's a bird, it's a plane, it's, oh dude, Marijuanaman. And none other than reggae star Ziggy Marley is bringing this superhero to life in comic book form. The world gets a peek at Comic-Con later this month, but the book won't be out until next year, on 4/20, of...

Gays Blast Buju Banton Grammy Nod

Homophobic singer is up for best reggae album award

(Newser) - Gay rights groups angered at notoriously anti-gay reggae singer Buju Banton's Grammy nomination are urging organizers to use Sunday's awards show to denounce him. Banton—up for a best reggae album award for his Rasta Got Soul album—called for the murder of gay men in his 1988 hit Boom ...

'Hasidic Reggae Guy' Matisyahu Stretches Sound
'Hasidic Reggae Guy' Matisyahu Stretches Sound

'Hasidic Reggae Guy' Matisyahu Stretches Sound

Hasidic reggae singer expands his sound on new CD

(Newser) - Matisyahu Miller is tired of just being the “Hasidic reggae guy,” the singer tells AP. His newest CD, Light, shows a wider range of influences, including guitar rock, electronic pop, and folk. As a Hasidic Jew who sang reggae—complete with Jamaican accent—Matisyahu was a curiosity act...

Omar's iDon Takes Reggaeton Back to the Future

Dancehall king blends familiar with futuristic with foray into cyberpunk

(Newser) - Reggaeton superstar Don Omar blends dancehall with Blade Runner on new album iDon, Jody Rosen writes for Slate. The Puerto Rican’s journey into “dystopian cyberfantasy” features plenty of “cybernetic mumbo-jumbo, foreboding synth chords, and techno twitches,” Rosen writes, backtracked by some more familiar big booming beats.

You Are Your Music: Study
 You Are Your Music: Study

You Are Your Music: Study

Study says music reflects our personalities

(Newser) - Our favorite music speaks volumes about who we are, according to a new psychological study. It turns out that Indie fans are miserable, and metal heads act a lot like classical music lovers. The Independent breaks down personalities by genre:  
  • Indie: Low self-esteem and lazy, not to mention selfish

Puerto Rico: Clinton's Vacation From Reality
Puerto Rico: Clinton's Vacation From Reality

Puerto Rico: Clinton's Vacation From Reality

'She might as well have been on another planet'

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton enjoyed a final vacation from reality this weekend, Mike Madden writes in Salon. Her stay in Puerto Rico—including riding a float loaded with giant speakers blaring salsa and reggaeton—“couldn’t possibly have been the most efficient use of” time for a fighting candidate: rather, it...

Obama Inspires Caribbean Serenade

Candidate-themed calypso, reggae tunes hit YouTube

(Newser) - Barack Obama is inspiring tropical love songs, the Miami Herald reports, and the tunes—from Trinidad calypso king the Mighty Sparrow’s Barack the Magnificent to Jamaican reggae fixture Cocoa Tea’s Barak Obahama—are firing up YouTube. The songs are also a signal of the Illinois Democrat's popularity outside...

Reggae Star Gunned Down
Reggae Star Gunned Down

Reggae Star Gunned Down

Lucky Dube killed in front of children during carjacking

(Newser) - Lucky Dube, South Africa’s best-selling reggae singer, was shot and killed in front of his children during an apparent carjacking last night outside Johannesburg. The murder sparked calls for a national crackdown on violent crime, Reuters reports. “The circumstances surrounding his murder again illustrate that violent crime in...

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