100 Greatest Reggae Songs (2022)

Criteria: This top 200 songs list contains the classic Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae, Dancehall and Dub songs from Jamaica along with newer songs from Reggae artists in the U.K., U.S. and Africa. Rankings are based on initial and lasting popularity as well as influence and impact in Reggae music. (Note: These are Reggae songs by Reggae artists. Not the occasional reggae song recorded by non-reggae artists.)

(Video) Top 100 Songs Reggae Nonstop 2022⚡Gregory Isaacs,Peter Tosh,Jimmy Cliff,Bob Marley,Lucky Dube

Background: Reggae - Around 1960, in the slums of Kingston Jamaica, where the local bands were playing a musical mixture of American R&B, Caribbean, and pan-African sounds, drummers began to emphasize the afterbeat, the 2nd and 4th beats (4/4 time) in unison with the piano and guitar while the bass played walking quarter notes. The musicians called the sound "Upside-down R&B". It soon became known as "Ska". As time passed Ska slowed the beat, lost it's brass sound and morphed into "Rocksteady", performed with fewer musicians and using more harmony vocals. Around 1968 the influences of Rastafari and Africanism along with political and social unrest in Jamaica gave birth to "Reggae", with a slower, stripped-down, less "Pop-like" sound often with accents added on the 3rd beat. Today the term "Reggae" applies broadly to all the Jamaican born music that contains the original afterbeat rhythm.

Edited By: Lew

(Video) Top 100 Reggae Songs 2021 - Best Reggae Popular Songs 2021 - New Reggae Remix Music 2021

Last Updated: 2017-05-21

Greatest Reggae Songs

1. No Woman, No Cry - Bob Marley & the Wailers
2. Israelites - Desmond Dekker & the Aces
3. Stir It Up - Bob Marley & the Wailers
4. Pressure Drop - Toots & the Maytals
5. The Harder They Come - Jimmy Cliff
6. One Love - Bob Marley & the Wailers
7. 54-46 That's My Number - Toots & the Maytals
8. Satta Massagana - The Abyssinians
9. Funky Kingston - Toots & the Maytals
10. Montego Bay - Freddie Notes & The Rudies
11. Many Rivers To Cross - Jimmy Cliff
12. Marcus Garvey - Burning Spear
13. Legalize It - Peter Tosh
14. Redemption Song - Bob Marley & the Wailers
15. Here I Come - Dennis Brown
16. Get Up, Stand Up - Bob Marley & the Wailers
17. Rudy Got Soul - Desmond Dekker & The Aces
18. The Tide Is High - The Paragons
19. Three Little Birds - Bob Marley & the Wailers
20. Everything I Own - Ken Boothe
21. Night Nurse - Gregory Isaacs
22. You Don't Care - The Techniques
23. Vietnam - Jimmy Cliff
24. Rivers Of Babylon - The Melodians
25. Police & Thieves - Junior Murvin
26. Buffalo Soldier - Bob Marley & the Wailers
27. Red Red Wine - UB40
28. Cherry Oh Baby - Eric Donaldson
29. (I Am) The Upsetter - Lee "Scratch" Perry
30. Sitting & Watching - Dennis Brown
31. Jammin' - Bob Marley & the Wailers
32. Wear You To The Ball - U-Roy & The Paragons
33. Two Sevens Clash - Culture
34. I Shot The Sheriff - Bob Marley & the Wailers
35. Armagideon Time - Willie Williams
36. 007 Shanty Town - Desmond Dekker & The Aces
37. A Love I Can Feel - John Holt
38. Revolution - Dennis Brown
39. Queen Majesty - The Techniques
40. Natty Rebel - U-Roy
41. Loving Pauper - Dobby Dobson
42. Natural Mystic - Bob Marley
43. Equal Rights - Peter Tosh
44. Rocksteady - Alton Ellis & The Flames
45. Do The Reggay - Toots & the Maytals
46. Don't Stay Away - Phyllis Dillon
47. Baby Why - The Cables
48. One Blood - Junior Reid
49. Iron Lion Zion - Bob Marley & the Wailers
50. Book Of The Rules - The Heptones
51. Telephone Love - JC Lodge
52. Blackheart Man - Bunny Wailer
53. Nanny Goat - Larry & Alvin Marshall
54. Unchained - Bob Andy
55. Tenement Yard - Jacob Miller
56. Ba Ba Boom - The Jamaicans
57. I'm Still In Love With You - Alton Ellis
58. Pass The Kutchie - The Mighty Diamonds
59. Wonderful World, Beautiful People - Jimmy Cliff
60. Mama Africa - Peter Tosh
61. Fade Away - Jr. Byles
62. How Could I Leave - Dennis Brown
63. Soon Forward - Gregory Isaacs
64. Trenchtown Rock - Bob Marley & the Wailers
65. I Can See Clearly Now - Johnny Nash
66. You Can Get It If You Really Want - Jimmy Cliff
67. Westbound Train - Dennis Brown
68. Cool Rasta - The Heptones
69. My Conversation - Slim Smith & The Uniques
70. Talk About Love - Pat Kelly
71. Now That We Found Love - Third World
72. 1865 (96 Degrees In The Shade) - Third World
73. I Need A Roof - The Mighty Diamonds
74. War Inna Babylon - Max Romeo
75. Declaration of Rights - The Abyssinians
76. Waiting In Vain - Bob Marley & the Wailers
77. Big Ship - Freddie McGregor
78. Guess Who's Comming To Dinner - Black Uhuru
79. What One Dance Can Do - Beres Hammond
80. Crying Over You - Ken Boothe
81. Someone Loves You - JC Lodge
82. Sonny's Lettah - Linton Kwesi Johnson
83. What Kind Of World - The Cables
84. Rain From The Sky - Delroy Wilson
85. Everything Crash - The Ethiopians
86. Love Me Forever - Carlton & The Shoes
87. My Boy Lollipop - Millie Small
88. Love Is My Religion - Ziggy Marley
89. Monkey Man - Toots & the Maytals
90. War - Bob Marley & the Wailers
91. Can I Change My Mind - Alton Ellis
92. Duppy Gunman - Ernie Smith
93. Johnny Too Bad - The Slickers
94. Black Cinderella - Errol Dunkley
95. Have Mercy - The Mighty Diamonds
96. Tumblin Down - Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers
97. Zungguzungguguzungguzeng - Yellowman
98. Hold Me Tight - Johnny Nash
99. Angel - Shaggy & Rayvon
100. Dreadlocks In Moonlight - Lee "Scratch" Perry

101. Freedom Street - Ken Boothe
102. Give A Little Love - Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers
103. You Don't Love Me (No No No) -Dawn Penn
104. Welcome To Jamrock - Damian Marley
105. 400 Years - Peter Tosh & the Wailers
106. Perfidia - Phyllis Dillon
107. Feel Like Jumping - Marcia Griffiths
108. African Herbsman - Bob Marley & the Wailers
109. Greetings -Half Pint
110. Better Must Come - Delroy Wilson
111. Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt - Yellowman
112. Rumours - Gregory Isaacs
113. Electric Boogie - Marcia Griffiths
114. Maga Dog - Peter Tosh
115. What Is Life? - Black Uhuru
116. I've Got To Go Back Home - Bob Andy
117. Pretty Looks Isn't All - The Heptones
118. Breaking Up - Alton Ellis
119. The Gorgon - Cornell Campbell
120. Ram Goat Liver - Pluto Shervington
121. All Wi Doin Is Defendin - Linton Kwesi Johnson
122. People Are You Ready - Johnny Osbourne
123. Take It Easy - Hopeton Lewis
124. Moving Away - Ken Boothe
125. Rock & Groove - Bunny Wailer
126. Tomorrow People - Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers
127. Herbman Hustling - Sugar Minott
128. Buddy Bye - Johnny Osbourne
129. Murderer - Barrington Levy
130. Oh Carolina - Shaggy
131. Sweet Sensation - The Melodians
132. Calling Rastafari - Culture
133. Sweet Talking - The Heptones
134. Reggae Ambassador - Third World
135. Baltimore - The Tamlins
136. Forward Jah Jah Children - Jacob Miller
137. Things You Say You Love - The Jamaicans
138. Look Who's Dancin' - Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers
139. Black Man Time - I-Roy
140. Ok Fred - Errol Dunkley
141. This Is Reggae Music - Zap Pow
142. Always Together - Bob Andy & Marcia Griffiths
143. Members Only - Tyrone Taylor
144. Love Forever - Cynthia Schloss
145. Ball Room Floor - Bunny Wailer
146. Fire Burning - Bob Andy
147. Sinsemilla - Black Uhuru
148. Betcha By Golly Wow - Errol Dunkley
149. Can't Hide From Jah - Yellowman
150. Youthman - Jr. Reid
151. Shark Attack - Wailing Souls
152. Boombastic - Shaggy
153. Under Me Sleng Teng - Wayne Smith
154. Dance of the Vampires - Scientist
155. Who Can Make The Dance Ram - Yellowman
156. Give It All You've Got - Beres Hammond
157. Arlene - General Echo
158. Rockaway - Beres Hammond
159. Play de Music - Ernie Smith
160. No Vacancy - Sugar Minott
161. Rhythm Of Life - Third World
162. Queen of The Minstrels - Cornell Campbell
163. Natty With A Cause - Willie Williams
164. Guava Jelly - Johnny Nash
165. Rude Boy Gone A Jail - The Clarendonians
166. Stop Lovin You - Freddie McGregor
167. Birds Of A Feather - Johnny Nash
168. Mr. DC - Sugar Minott
169. Night And Day -Dawn Penn
170. Tune In - Cocoa Tea
171. All The Way In - Cynthia Schloss
172. Carry Go Bring Come - Justin Hinds & The Dominoes
173. Ten Commandments - Prince Buster
174. Sidewalk Killer - I-Roy
175. Natty Dread In A Greenwich Farm - Cornell Campbell
176. Mission - Admiral Tibbett
177. Jamming In The Street - Sugar Minott
178. Train To Skaville - Derrick Morgan
179. Hard To Confess - The Tamlins
180. Nice Up The Dance - Michigan & Smiley
181. Black People - The Slickers
182. Solomon - Derrick Harriott
183. Caan Dun - Shabba Ranks
184. One Draw - Rita Marley
185. Ganga Smuggling - Eek-a-Mouse
186. Positive Vibrations - Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus
187. The Same Song - Israel Vibration
188. On The Beach - The Paragons
189. One Love, One Heart - Righteous Flames
190. Under Mi Sensi - Barrington Levy
191. I Love Marijuana - Linval Thompson
192. A Hundred Pounds Of Collie - Cornell Campbell
193. Champion - Buju Banton
194. Tired Fe Lick Weed In A Bush - Jacob Miller
195. Smoke Two Joints - The Toyes
196. Pirates Anthem - Shabba Ranks
197. Police In Helicopter - John Holt
198. Look - Bounty Killer
199. Your Honour - Pluto Shervington
200. Fatty Fatty - Clancy Eccles

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100 Greatest Reggae Songs (1)

Top Five Songs That Influenced The Birth Of Ska, Rocksteady andReggae.

1. Be My Guest
- Fats Domino
2. No More Doggin'
- Rosco Gordon
3. Billy's Heartache
- Billy Stewart
4. Sick & Tired
- Chris Kenner
5. The Monkey
- Dave Bartholomew

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100 Greatest Reggae Songs (2)
100 Greatest Reggae Songs (3)
100 Greatest Reggae Songs (4)

Reggae Covers of Popular Non-Reggae Songs

Ain't No Sunshine - Ken Boothe
Baby I Love Your Way - Big Mountain
Blueberry Hill - Ferdinand
Bridge Over Troubled Water - Jimmy London
Can't Help Falling In Love - UB40
Don't Let Me Down - Marcia Griffiths
Don't Think Twice, It's Alright - JC Lodge
Family Affair - Shabba Ranks
Fly Like An Eagle - Sugar Black
Hard To Handle - Toots Hibbert
Hey Jude - Toots & The Maytals
Hit The Road Jack - Big Youth
Hotel California - Edi Fitzroy
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - The Heptones
I Got You Babe - UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde
I Shall Be Released - Jacob Miller
If You Don't Know Me By Now - Zap Pow
Johnny B. Goode - Peter Tosh

King Of Pain - Inner Circle
Knockin' On Heavens Door - Luciano
Maggie May - Wayne Armond
Margaritaville - Reggae Machine
Money - Easy Star All Stars
Mother And Child Reunion - Horace Andy
Mr. Tambourine Man - Ken Boothe
Roxanne - Aswad
Sexual Healing - Jimmy Riley
(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay - Dennis Brown
Take Me Home Country Roads - Toots & The Maytals
The Girl Is Mine - Yellowman & Peter Metro
This Magic Moment - Leroy Gibbons
To Sir With Love - Dawn Penn
United We Stand - Bob Andy
Whiter Shade Of Pale - Pat Kelly
Wild World - Maxi Priest
You Can't Always Get What You Want - Steel Pulse

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FAQs

What is the most iconic reggae song? ›

The 10 Best Reggae Songs Of All Time
  • Bob Marley – One Love.
  • Jimmy Cliff – Many Rivers To Cross.
  • Sister Nancy – Bam Bam.
  • Peter Tosh – Legalize It.
  • Burning Spear – Marcus Garvey.
  • Bob Marley – Three Little Birds.
  • UB40 – Food For Thought.
  • Desmond Dekker – Israelites.
Nov 19, 2021

What is the number one Jamaican song? ›

The 150 Greatest Jamaican Songs All Time
11.Bob Marley One Love
No Woman, No Cry
33.Harry Belafonte Day-O (Banana Boat Song)
Day-O (Banana Boat Song)
44.Harry J All Stars The Liquidator
191 more rows

What was first reggae song? ›

Reggae as a musical term first appeared in print with the 1968 rocksteady hit "Do the Reggay" by the Maytals which named the genre.

Where is reggae music most popular? ›

Since the late 1960s, reggae has been the primary popular style of music in Jamaica. Its origins reflect the cultural hybridity for which the Caribbean is known. Reggae's roots trace back to the late 1940s and 1950s when the Jamaican recording industry was in its infancy.

Who is the biggest reggae artist of all time? ›

1) Bob Marley

No list of reggae artists would be complete without Bob Marley in the top spot. Bob Marley rose to fame with his backing band, The Wailers, starting in 1963. Bob Marley's songs sounded peaceful but were often political, with popular themes of love, redemption, and struggle.

Who is the king of reggae now? ›

Today, as fans all over the world take to social media to celebrate the icon, here is a list of things to remember about him. He was born on February 6, 1945 on his grandfather's farm in Nine Mile, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica, Although popularly called Bob Marley, his real name is Robert Nesta Marley.

Who is the most famous Jamaican singer? ›

10 Of The Greatest And Most Famous Jamaican Singers Of All Time
  • Bob Marley.
  • Shaggy.
  • Damian Marley.
  • Sean Paul.
  • Spice.
  • Bunny Wailer.
  • Peter Tosh.
  • Sean Kingston.

What is Jamaica most popular music? ›

The Trinidadian calypso and soca music are popular in Jamaica. Popular calypso/soca artists from Jamaica include Byron Lee, Fab 5, and Lovindeer.

What is the number one trending song in Jamaica? ›

Alkaline - Lone Madness

Who is the father of reggae? ›

The first to use the word reggae on a record, he sang in a soulful tone and wrote songs with subtle social commentary, helping bring the sounds of Jamaica to the world.

Who invented reggae? ›

Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, front man of Toots and the Maytals, the pioneering ska and rock steady group, says that he invented the term “reggae” to describe what has become one of the most popular musical genres in the world.

Who started reggae? ›

Reggae is a musical genre developed by Jamaicans of African ancestry in the late 1960s. Reggae bands incorporate musical idioms from many different genres, including mento (a Jamaican folk genre), ska, rocksteady, calypso, and American soul music and rhythm and blues.

Who is the hottest reggae artist now? ›

Most Streamed Reggae & Dancehall Artists On YouTube 2021
1.SEAN PAUL (Jamaica)1,13 Billion
2.BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS* (Jamaica)909 Million
3.DREAD MAR I (Argentina)760 Million
4.SHAGGY (Jamaica)483 Million
5.VYBZ KARTEL (Jamaica)416 Million
5 more rows
Jan 4, 2022

Why is it called reggae? ›

“Reggae” comes from the term “rege-rege” which means “rags” or “ragged clothes”, and this gives you your first clue into the story behind reggae music.

Who is the most famous Rastafarian? ›

Bob Marley is the most famous Rastafari. He brought Rastafari to the American masses in the late 1970s and early 1980s through reggae.

Who is the queen of reggae music? ›

Rita Marley

The Queen of Reggae, Alpharita Constantia Marley, raised in Trench Town in Kingston, Jamaica, was destined for musical greatness. After winning early awards for her childhood performances, there was only one way she would go.

Who is the best reggae musician in Africa? ›

Lucky Dube is arguably Africa's greatest ever reggae artiste. Born in South African in August 1967, he released countless songs such as Freedom Fighter, Respect and War And Crime. Most of his songs tackled apartheid and other political issues.

Who is the most influential artist in Jamaica? ›

Bob Marley, who was born Nesta Robert Marley in Jamaica in 1945 and died in 1981, is the best known and best loved performer and writer of reggae music. He is credited with spreading the Jamaican music and the Rastafarian Movement throughout the world.

Who is the hottest reggae artist now? ›

Most Streamed Reggae & Dancehall Artists On YouTube 2021
1.SEAN PAUL (Jamaica)1,13 Billion
2.BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS* (Jamaica)909 Million
3.DREAD MAR I (Argentina)760 Million
4.SHAGGY (Jamaica)483 Million
5.VYBZ KARTEL (Jamaica)416 Million
5 more rows
Jan 4, 2022

What is reggae music known for? ›

The genre is known for its propulsive percussion, hypnotic bass lines, and steady, up-stroke rhythm guitar (called the "skank beat"), which has helped it cut through as a dance music genre. Most reggae songs feature lyrics in Jamaican English, Jamaican Patois, or Iyaric dialects.

Why is reggae music popular? ›

Reggae music is one of the world's few living folk music's. It has remained incredibly popular and spontaneously generated by people's experiences, emotions and traditions. Since it's birth reggae music has been Jamaica's emotional outlet, to express thoughts and feelings about life, love and religion.

What is the example song of the reggae? ›

Toots and the Maytals - "Pressure Drop"

Toots and the Maytals managed to make their mark on an enormous range of Jamaican music, from ska through rocksteady and right on into reggae (the genre name reggae is often attributed to their 1967 song "Do The Reggay," in fact).

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