Buju Banton

Buju Banton

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About Buju Banton

Reggae star Mark Anthony Myrie was nicknamed Buju (“chubby child”) by his mother, and he took the surname Banton as an homage to dancehall reggae deejay Burro Banton. ∙ Local audiences first knew him as Gargamel—his stage name when he began toasting at age 12. ∙ In 1992, he not only released the best-selling album in Jamaican history, Mr. Mention, but he also charted the most No. 1 singles in one year—an honor previously held by Bob Marley & The Wailers. ∙ After he embraced Rastafarianism in the mid-’90s, his lyrics took a turn toward spirituality and social activism. ∙ A musical ambassador, Banton has worked with a wide range of artists, including John Legend, Rancid, and Malian singer-songwriter Salif Keita. ∙ He has been nominated six times for Grammy awards in the Best Reggae Album category, and he won in 2011 for his LP Before the Dawn. ∙ In 2019, he became the first solo artist to sell out Jamaica’s 35,000-capacity National Stadium since Bob Marley did it in 1978.

Kingston, Jamaica
July 15, 1973

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