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Johnny Osbourne In Concert With The Melodians, May 13, 2010, San Diego

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The Godfather of Dancehall” is the well-deserved moniker for Johnny Osbourne describing his contribution to reggae music as it evolved from the local Jamaican community to the international arena. A string of hits dating from the late sixties through the nineties defines Johnny’s longevity and artistic ability.

Born and raised in Jones Town, the mecca of dancehalls in Kingston Jamaica, Johnny is a part of the musical fraternity that established the foundation upon which reggae music exists today. No doubt songs like Come Back Darling, Truth & Rights, Reasons, Jah Promise, Sing Jah Stylee, Water Pumping, Ice Cream Love, All I have Is Love, Warrior, Yo-Yo, Buda Bye, In your Your Eyes, Give A Little Love, Fally Lover, Love Is Universal Groovin, Sexy Thing, Little Sound Boy and many others are omni-present in the minds of reggae music lovers. His classic Warrior was sampled by reggae legends Bunny Wailer and Marcia Griffiths. British Reggae group, UB40 recorded Come Back Darling, which peaked at ..10 on the UK Charts in 1998. Johnny’s songs have also been sampled by: Zero 7, Bim Sherman, Beastie Boys and many others. His five star rated album titled Truths And Rights on Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s Studio One Label, ranks among reggae’s all time classic albums.

Blessed with an eclectic voice, and an unparalleled style, Johnny’s music transcends genres and generations. Reggae historian Roger Steffens affirms, “A 25-year career that shows no signs of letting up, from soulful reggae to a massive dancehall catalog, Osbourne’s warm voice filled with conviction and yearning, is one of the island’s best”. After more than 3 decades that sound is distinct and fresh as ever.

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Written by Staff Writer