ARTIST PROFILES

Beres Hammond Biography by Steve Huey Jamaican reggae singer whose dusky, emotive voice made him a major figure in the lovers rock movement, as well as an influence on dancehall. Read Full Biography Overview Biography Discography Songs Credits Related Share this page facebook twitter google+ Artist Biography by Steve Huey One of the most underappreciated reggae artists of his time, Beres Hammond was something of a throwback during his '90s heyday: a soulful crooner indebted to classic rocksteady and American R&B, one who preferred live instrumentation and wrote much of his own material. Hammond specialized in romantic lovers rock, but he also found time to delve into light dancehall, conscious roots reggae, hip-hop fusion, and straight-up contemporary R&B. He was born Hugh Beresford Hammond on August 28, 1955, in Annotto Bay, in the Jamaican province of St. Mary. Hammond grew up listening to his father's collection of American R&B (Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, etc.) and jazz, and also fell in love with native Jamaican music during the ska and rocksteady eras; his primary influence was Alton Ellis, and he also listened to the likes of Peter Tosh, the Heptones, and Ken Boothe. Over 1972-1973, Hammond performed successfully in talent competitions, one of which led to his first recording, a soul cover of Ellis' "Wanderer." In 1975, Hammond joined the group Zap Pow as lead singer; they enjoyed a hit single in 1978 with "The System." Meanwhile, Hammond was already exploring the idea of a solo career, cutting his debut album, Soul Reggae, with producer Willie Lindo in 1976. Urged by his label, Aquarius, to pick a song for single release, Hammond instead returned to the studio and cut a new track, the ballad "One Step Ahead." It was a massive chart-topping hit in Jamaica, and so was his second single, 1978's Joe Gibbs-produced "I'm in Love." Hammond left Zap Pow in 1979 to concentrate on his solo career, and initially worked as a session singer to make up for the royalties that were failing to come in. He recorded his second solo album, Just a Man, with Gibbs in 1980, and reunited with Lindo for 1981's Comin' at You. Hammond subsequently continued his session work, also forming a harmony quintet called Tuesday's Children that never recorded but had some success as a live act. Following the 1985 album Let's Make a Song, he founded his own label, Harmony House, to ensure that he would have an outlet whenever arrangements with other companies fell through. The first two singles, "Groovy Little Thing" and the Willie Lindo-produced "What One Dance Can Do," were both major hits that nodded to the emerging dancehall style, and the latter not only started to break him in the international market, but proved to be his biggest Jamaican hit ever. A self-titled album also appeared in 1986, and he scored another hit with "Settling Down." In 1987, amid his growing notoriety, Hammond was the victim of an armed break-in and robbery; greatly shaken by the ordeal of having been tied up while thieves ransacked his home, he left Jamaica and spent some time in New York with relatives, away from the spotlight. Reuniting with Willie Lindo in the Big Apple, Hammond set to work on the ballad-heavy Have a Nice Week End, and also teamed with emerging crossover star Maxi Priest for the 1988 duet "How Can We Ease the Pain." In the wake of Hurricane Gilbert, Hammond returned to Jamaica and recorded the tougher Putting Up Resistance with producer Tappa Zukie, which was released in 1989 and spawned a significant hit in the title track and a popular follow-up in "Strange." Hammond made his return permanent in 1990, signing with the Penthouse label and teaming that year with producer Donovan Germain for the enormous dancehall hit "Tempting to Touch." Perhaps his best-known song in the U.K. and U.S., "Tempting to Touch" topped the charts in Jamaica and paved the way for 1992's hit A Love Affair album, which included further hits in "Is This a Sign" and "Respect to You Baby." Now attracting interest from larger labels, Hammond wrote and recorded prolifically in the '90s, and produced fairly consistent results. Sweetness appeared in 1993 on VP, and 1994 brought In Control, a set on American major Elektra that was geared toward the international market. VP distributed his 1996 Harmony House album Love From a Distance, which made him one of the most popular lovers rock artists around, and Heartbeat handled the 1997 follow-up Getting Stronger. 1998 brought A Day in the Life... on VP, after which Hammond took a few years' break from his frantic recording pace. In the meantime, several compilations were released, including Jet Star's Reggae Max and Forever Yours (the former a hits retrospective, the latter focusing on his lovers rock material). Hammond returned to the studio in 2001 for Music Is Life, which featured a guest spot from rapper Wyclef Jean. Love Has No Boundaries was released in 2004 on VP Records, and included guest spots by Buju Banton and Big Youth, among others. A Moment in Time appeared in 2008 and featured the hit "Picking Up the Pieces." His 2012 effort, One Love, One Life, was split into two discs, one dealing with love while the other focused on social issues. AllMusic | AllMovie | SideReel | Celebified About | FAQ | Feedback | Advertise | Copyright Policy | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | New Releases Newsletter | Remove Ads ©2017 AllMusic, member of the RhythmOne group | All Rights Reserved Music Follow allmusic Like AllMusic Born February 6, 1945 in Nine Miles, St. Ann, Jamaica Died May 11, 1981 in Miami, Florida, USA (metastatic skin cancer) Birth Name Robert Nesta Marley Height 5' 7" (1.7 m) Mini Bio (1) Bob Marley was born on February 6, 1945, in Nine Miles, Saint Ann, Jamaica, to Norval Marley and Cedella Booker. His father was a Jamaican of English descent. His mother was a black teenager. The couple planned to get married but Norval left Kingston before this could happen. Norval died in 1955, seeing his son only once. Bob Marley started his career with the Wailers, a group he formed with Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston in 1963. Marley married Rita Marley in February 1966, and it was she who introduced him to Rastafarianism. By 1969 Bob, Tosh and Livingston had fully embraced Rastafarianism, which greatly influence Marley's music in particular and on reggae music in general. The Wailers collaborated with Lee Scratch Perry, resulting in some of the Wailers' finest tracks like "Soul Rebel", "Duppy Conquerer", "400 Years" and "Small Axe." This collaboration ended bitterly when the Wailers found that Perry, thinking the records were his, sold them in England without their consent. However, this brought the Wailers' music to the attention of Chris Blackwell, the owner of Island Records. Blackwell immediately signed the Wailers and produced their first album, "Catch a Fire". This was followed by "Burnin'", featuring tracks as "Get Up Stand Up" and "I Shot the Sheriff." Eric Clapton's cover of that song reached #1 in the US. In 1974 Tosh and Livingston left the Wailers to start solo careers. Marley later formed the band "Bob Marley and the Wailers", with his wife Rita as one of three backup singers called the I-Trees. This period saw the release of some groundbreaking albums, such as "Natty Dread", "Rastaman Vibration". In 1976, during a period of spiraling political violence in Jamaica, an attempt was made on Marley's life. Marley left for England, where he lived in self-exile for two years. In England "Exodus" was produced, and it remained on the British charts for 56 straight weeks. This was followed by another successful album, "Kaya." These successes introduced reggae music to the western world for the first time, and established the beginning of Marley's international status. In 1977 Marley consulted with a doctor when a wound in his big toe would not heal. More tests revealed malignant melanoma. He refused to have his toe amputated as his doctors recommended, claiming it contradicted his Rastafarian beliefs. Others, however, claim that the main reason behind his refusal was the possible negative impact on his dancing skills. The cancer was kept secret from the general public while Bob continued working. Returning to Jamaica in 1978, he continued work and released "Survival" in 1979 which was followed by a successful European tour. In 1980 he was the only foreign artist to participated in the independence ceremony of Zimbabwe. It was a time of great success for Marley, and he started an American tour to reach blacks in the US. He played two shows at Madison Square Garden, but collapsed while jogging in NYC's Central Park on September 21, 1980. The cancer diagnosed earlier had spread to his brain, lungs and stomach. Bob Marley died in a Miami hospital on May 11, 1981. He was 36 years old Close Spouse (1) Rita Marley (10 February 1966 - 11 May 1981) (his death) (5 children) Trade Mark (3) Always had his hair in dreadlocks Started every performance by proclaiming the divinity of Jah Rastafari Gibson Epiphone Trivia (41) Marley was awarded the International Peace Medal by the African delegation to the United Nations in 1978. He was also an official guest at Zimbabwe's independence celebration two years later, an honor Marley was quoted as saying was the highest he'd ever received. Is father, with his wife Rita of Sharon Marley Prendergast (adopted), Cedella Marley, Ziggy Marley, Stephen Marley, and Stephanie (possibly adopted). He also had seven illegitimate children Rohan (b. 1972) (with Janet Dunn/Hunt), Robbie (b. 1972) (with Pat/Lucille Williams), Karen (b. 1973) (with Janet Bowen), Julian Marley (with Lucy Pounder), Damian Marley (with Cindy Breakspeare), Ky-Mani Marley (with Anita Belnavis) and Makeda Jahnesta who was born to Yvette Anderson/Crichton 11 days after he died in 1981. Survived an assassination attempt, receiving minor injuries in the chest and arm (December 1976). His albums are in the process of digital remastering and are being re-released with additional material such as alternate versions and unused demos. His posthumously released anthology collection "Legend" is one of the highest selling "greatest hits" recordings by a solo artist. A vegetarian. His grandson Zion David was born on 3 August 1997. His granddaughter Selah Louise was born on 18 November 1998. He is buried in a crypt at Nine Miles, near his birthplace, with his Gibson Les Paul Guitar, a soccer ball, a cannabis bud, and a Bible. Born to Norval Sinclair Marley (1895-1955), a Jamaican Marine officer and captain of Welsh descent, who later became a plantation overseer, and his wife Cedella Marley. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. His song "One Love" has been used extensively for Jamaican tourism commercials. He was voted the 11th Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Artist of all time by Entertainment Weekly. Son of Cedella Marley. His album 'Exodus' was chosen by Time magazine as the greatest album of the 20th century. Was arrested in England for possession of a joint of a marijuana. Was voted the third greatest lyricist of all time by BBC News Online users, following Bob Dylan and John Lennon (May 2001). Considered by many to be the first superstar from the Third World. His song 'Rasta Man Chant' is a traditional Rastafarian chant, known to every adherent of the faith. Following the attempt on his life, he left Jamaica and lived in England between 1976 and 1978. In England he did not live with his wife Rita, but with Jamaican beauty queen Cindy Breakspeare. In fact, the song "Turn Your Lights Down Low" was written for her. They had a son together, Damian Marley. It was announced that his wife plans to have his remains exhumed and moved to Ethiopia (January 2005). Lived in the United States shortly in 1966. Refused amputation of his cancer-affected toe due to his religious beliefs. Suffered from a form of skin cancer called malignant melanoma, which is not common among black people. It's widely believed that Marley got this form of skin cancer because his father was white. Was given a state funeral in Jamaica. The lyrics of his song "War" is a speech given in the United Nations by the late Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie. Was a Rastafarian. Was an avid and passionate footballer. Was named by his father Nesta Robert Marley after his brother who, when Bob was just born, wanted to adopt him. During the last months of his life, he suffered from very serious seizures. His youngest child, a daughter named Makeda, was born to Yvette Anderson 11 days after he died. Lived in Germany for a few months in 1981 for treatment for his cancer. Tuff Gong was his nickname, given to him due to his reputed physical strength. Later, Marley started his own music production company and named it Tuff Gong. Inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to British music and integral part of British music culture (11 November 2004). One of the personalities mentioned in the song "Genius of Love" by Tom Tom Club. The others mentioned were James Brown, Smokey Robinson, Hamilton Bohannon, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Kurtis Blow, Lowell 'Sly' Dunbar (as Sly and Robbie) and Robbie Shakespeare (as Sly and Robbie). Was taught to play the guitar by Peter Tosh. The City of New York renamed a portion of Church Avenue from Remsen Avenue to 98th Street in Brooklyn Bob Marley Boulevard (2006). Was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2001). His mother, Cedella (Malcolm), who was of African descent, was born in Jamaica, to Alberta Willoughby and Omeriah Malcolm. His father, Norval Sinclair Marley, was born in Clarendon, Jamaica, to Ellen Bloomfield and Albert Thomas Marley, who had English ancestry. He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 7080 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Bob's home for his music publishing for 10 years, most of his writing life, was Cayman Music, run by Danny Sims and Johnny Nash who also signed Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer as well as many of Jamaica's most prominent artists and writers of the time. Personal Quotes (7) My music will go on forever. Maybe it's a fool say that, but when me know facts me can say facts. My music will go on forever. I have a BMW. But only because BMW stands for Bob Marley and The Wailers, and not because I need an expensive car. Bob Marley isn't my name. I don't even know my name yet. I no have education. I have inspiration. If I was educated I would be a damn fool. [on politics] Well, everything is political. I will never be a politician or even think political. Me just deal with life and nature. That is the greatest thing to me. [on marijuana] Herb? Herb is a plant. Herb is so good for everything. Why these people who want to do so much good for everyone, who call themselves government and this and that, why them say you must not use the herb? You see, them say you must not use the herb because it makes you a rebel. Against what? My music fights against the system that teaches to live and d

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