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About Burning Spear

Some artists transcend the need for award, but are nonetheless deserving of decades of accolade. Burning Spear is such an artist. A music-maker, community icon, educator, spiritual uplifter; Burning Spear's importance to culture existed before media spotlight, and has only grown since. For nearly four decades and more than 25 albums, he has carried the torch of the gospel of political activist Marcus Garvey, promoting self-determination and self-reliance for African descendants through lyrics and rhythms that truly deliver the messages of peace and love to all. Not surprisingly, Burning Spear's path in music began with a fateful encounter with Bob Marley. Both were living in the St. Ann's parish of Jamaica. As Spear (born Winston Rodney) recalls, "The way the whole thing came about is that I found myself moving along up in the hills of St. Ann's and I ran into Bob at the same time. And 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 Spear recording his first two classic albums, Burning Spear and Rocking Time.

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Winston Rodney (born March 1, 1945 also known as Burning Spear, is a Grammy Award winning Jamaican roots reggae singer and musician. Like many famous Jamaican reggae artists, Burning Spear is known for his Rastafari movement messages. Rodney was born in Saint Ann's Bay, Saint Ann, Jamaica, as were Bob Marley and Marcus Garvey; who both had a great influence on Rodney's life. Garvey in his philosophy, which Burning Spear greatly took to, and Marley in directly helping Burning Spear get started in the music industry. Burning Spear was originally Rodney's group, named after Jomo Kenyatta, the first Prime Minister and President of an independent Kenya. As fame took hold the name of the group gradually became synonymous with Rodney. Burning Spear is one of the strongest proponents of Marcus Garvey's self-determination and self-reliance for all African descendants, thus leading to several album releases in commemoration of the African activist.

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