6 Musicians You Didn’t Know Were From the Caribbean

Let’s play a game.

How many of these artists did you know were from the Caribbean?  Post your score out of 6 in the comments.

Their soulful creations espouse the essence of what music is.


1. Iyaz

          “Shawty’s like a melody in my head that I can’t keep out. Got me singin’ like, na na na na every day. It’s like my iPod stuck on replay, replay-ay-ay-ay.”

          I don’t know about you, but this line kept replaying in my head when it became a hit in 2010. Not many know the rest of the song but this hook is as  catchy as it gets.

          During his career, he performed side by side with popular artists like J.R. Rotem, Sean Kingston, Big Time Rush, Charice, Demi Lovato, and Mann. He has also appeared on Hannah Montana and Hannah Montana Forever which gave him a chance to collaborate with Miley Cyrus on a song called “Gonna Get This”.


2. Nikki Minaj

          Nikki Minaj is the most popular artist in this list today.  Born in Trinidad and Tobago but raised in New York, she had a fairly quick breakthrough after releasing three underground mixed tapes in 2007. Young Money Entertainment quickly signed her when she gained public attention in 2009.

          Just like the beautiful Creole fashion, Nikki Minaj is known for her vivacious, colorful outfits and full figure.


3. Shontelle

          Shontelle’s music videos on YouTube collect millions of views, particularly her most popular song T-shirt that topped hit charts around the world.

          This barbadian singer song-writer has toured around the world and has released two albums since 2008. She works within the genres of R&B, Reggae, Pop, and Hip Hop. Rihanna, Akon, Pitbull, Beenie Man, Asher Roth, J-Status, Collie Buddz, Timati are just some of the artists she has performed with on stage.


4. Rihanna

          Rihanna, or Robyn has got to be the one who has the largest following on our list. Just like Shontelle, she’s from Barbados. Umbrella is the most notable work she did which contributed to her international success.

          Not many people know that she grew up witnessing the addiction of her father to cocaine and alcohol. During these times, she was exposed to reggae music and began singing her favorite pieces in the age of seven. When she was an army cadet in high school, Shontelle (yes, the one above) was her drill sergeant.

          Before going to a range of musical genres, she started recording songs which were inspired by Caribbean music genres such as Soca Music, Dancehall Music, and of course Reggae Music. She has also performed dance-pop, hip hop, dubstep, rock, and house. Infact, her debut album Music of the Sun in 2005 is a combination of Dancehall Music, and Reggae Music.


5. Sean Kingston

          Who would forget a music video about a young and charming boy getting suicidal over beautiful girls? The boy was actually in denial over the failure of his relationship with a “beautiful girl.”

          Sean Kingston is one of the youngest artist who made it to the top of international hit charts overnight. He was born in Miami, Florida and then moved to Kingston, Jamaica (thus Sean Kingston) where he would meet his popular reggae producer grandpa, Lawrence Lindo or also known as Jack Ruby.

           He has been on tour since he gained international recognition. He has worked with Gwen Stefani, Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, Jason Derulo, Sugababes, Justin Bieber, Soulja Boy, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, T-Pain…I could go on but I’m not gonna do that. Let’s just say he is extremely successful in his career.

Caribbean Music Artist Gregory Isaacs

6. Gregory Isaacs

Also known as “Cool Ruler”, he was branded as “the most exquisite vocalist in reggae” by the New York Times.

Gregory began his career in Jamaica by winning talent shows. Even with his obvious talent, international recognition did not come quick. He tried teaming up with various artists to form groups in the 70’s to gain recognition.

Through dedication and hard work, he had a massive hit which became the first lovers rock record in history, My Only Lover. By the late 70’s, he was one of the biggest reggae performers in the world.

US and UK tours began competing with popular artists during the time like Dennis Brown, and Bob Marley.

How many of these artists did you know were from the Caribbean?  Post your score out of 6 in the comments.