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Published on August 22nd, 2012 | by asiedu3

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How Reggae got its name

This story was originally reported on the Jamaica Gleaner website

There have been various moments in history when Reggae music has ruled the world. In fact, you’d probably be hard-pressed to find a part of the globe that hasn’t heard of or listened to the music of Bob Marley, Shaggy or UB40.What is perhaps lesser known is the story behind the genre’s humble beginnings.
Reggae Going International 1967-1976 is the new biography of veteran Reggae producer Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee: the Jamaican legend who still holds the noteworthy title of having the longest consecutive number one songs on the Jamaican charts (23 weeks), with the 1972 John Holt hit Stick By Me. Having been in the music business for more than half a century, Lee has heard all the stories about how reggae started.
Getting even more specific about some of the tales he’s heard, Lee went on to dismiss a widely documented story which claims that Reggae singer Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert was the inventor of the term ‘Reggae’.
Jamaican music enthusiasts will know that there has been much speculation surrounding the origin of the word Reggae, but according to Lee it was he who coined the term.
Then Reggae was given its name Reggae in 1968. It came from the word ‘streggae’: another way to describe a prostitute. But it didn’t take off because radio wouldn’t play it, so the name was changed it to Reggae.
By the age of 27, Lee, who had started his career as a record plugger, worked his way up the industry ladder to eventually open his own record label. But it was not until the late ’60s that Reggae and Lee became international.

To read the original publication on The Jamaica Gleaner website click here

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