Saturday Hustle - Guinness Top 50 dancehall icons

Saturday, July 14, 2012    

Print this page Email A Friend!

One of Jamaica's favourite brews, Guinness, has embarked on a search for the top 50-dancehall icons in celebration of Jamaica's golden jubilee. Saturday Hustle features 10 dancehall artistes who have made a significant cultural impact. Visit and vote for your favourite.

Beenie Man

With a career in music since 1981, Beenie Man is undoubtedly one of Jamaica's greatest dancehall acts. His international breakthrough came in 1997 with the Jeremy Harding-produced single Who Am I. The single quickly went gold and opened the doors for a dancehall act to appear in the pages of Newsweek and other major media outlets.

Bounty Killer

The self-described 'Poor People's Governor', Bounty Killer's seminal 1996 double album, My Xperience, took the music industry by storm, harvesting unprecedented success. My Xperience spent six months at number 1 on the Reggae Billboard chart. Bounty collaborated with some major Hip Hop stars such as Busta Rhymes, the Fugees, and Wu-Tang Clan.

Buju Banton

Banton released early dancehall singles in 1991, but came to prominence in 1992 with two albums, including Mr Mention, which became the best-selling album in Jamaican history upon its release. Banton signed with major label Mercury Records and released Voice of Jamaica the following year. His 2010 album Before the Dawn was the winner for Best Reggae Album at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards.

Lady Saw

Her popularity in the dancehall scene has helped her gain notoriety in the international music industry. In 2002 she expanded her audience when the ska/punk band No Doubt featured her on their popular hit Underneath It All which won a Grammy award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by Duo or Group in 2004.

Damian Marley

Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley is a three-time Grammy award-winning reggae artist. He is the only Jamaican reggae artist in history to win two Grammy Awards on the same night and the only reggae artist to win in the Best Urban/Alternative Performance category at the Grammy Awards. The album Welcome to Jamrock sold 86,000 copies within its first week of release, and was eventually certified gold after selling 500,000 copies in the United States.

Vybz Kartel

Vybz Kartel rose to prominence in 2003 after a string of hits in Jamaica. In 2009 his single Ramping Shop featuring dancehall artiste Spice, debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles charts. His 2010 single Clarks was one of his biggest international hits, remaining in the top three reggae singles gaining the most radio airplay in North America for 40 weeks. Clarks was also featured on the TV series So You Think You Can Dance Canada, and on a CNN segment on dancehall dance.

Tanya Stephens

Vivienne Tanya Stephens, better known by her stage name Tanya Stephens, emerged in the late 1990s. Stephens is most known for her hits Yuh Nuh Ready Fi Dis Yet, the single was later featured on the Reggae Gold 1997 compilation album and It's a Pity, which achieved Tanya international recognition.


Orville Richard Burrell, better known by his stage name Shaggy, is a Grammy Award-winning reggae artiste. He is perhaps best known for his 1995 single Boombastic and 2000 single It Wasn't Me. He has been noted as having a baritone-range singing voice, and is easily identifiable by his signature vocal style.

Shabba Ranks

Shabba is one of the most popular dancehall artists of his generation. He was also one of the first Jamaican artistes to gain worldwide acceptance, and recognition for his 'slack' lyrical expressions and content, when 'ridin di riddim'. He arrived on the international stage in the late 1980s with his gravelly-toned, rough-sounding voice which made him instantly recognised worldwide.


Born Winston Foster, Yellowman gained tremendous popularity in the dancehall scene in the 1980s. More widely known as King Yellowman, he came to prominence with a series of singles, such as Zungo-Zend and Dem a mad ova me, that established his reputation. His first album was released in 1982 entitled Mister Yellowman followed by Zungguzungguguzungguzeng in 1983, earning instant success.



Do you think an increase in JUTC bus fares is justified at this time?

View Results »


Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon