Marcia Griffiths – A timeless journey in reggae music | Entertainment


When an impressionable young ingenue named Marcia Griffiths embarked on her journey in reggae music, little did she know that half a century later she would be living the lyrics of her own song, which had become an anthem: As long as I live, I will sing / As long as I live, I will sing.

The current and only queen of reggae, Marcia Llyneth Griffiths, OD (Commander class), celebrates 55 illustrious years in a company that has been truly kind to her. And, at 69, this legend, who has literally lost count of the number of albums she has released, offers the world a captivating new album, aptly titled Timeless. With one, what kind of world, already released, fans are eagerly awaiting the release on June 14 of this album produced by Donovan Germain, which pays homage to another timeless entity, Studio One, Jamaican Motown. But before that, her “Marcia Griffiths Celebrating 55 Years Timelessly” European tour, is set to kick off June 7 in Zurich, Switzerland, and the long list of stops will take your breath away – Italy, Copenhagen, Austria, France, Geel Reggae Festival in Belgium with Buju Banton; in the UK at the Boomtown Festival in Winchester, Birmingham and at the Brixton Academy with Supercat; and Rototom Sunsplash in Benecassim Spain, among others. Plus, the woman who delivers what one writer calls “loud, foam-smooth love songs” has just returned from a two-week trip to Germany, where she appeared in a series of sold-out shows alongside German reggae singer, Gentleman, who Marcia described to The Sunday Gleaner as “a true gentleman”.

As dizzying as Marcia Griffiths’ touring schedule may seem, it takes on a whole new meaning when you realize that this great traveler has a desperate fear of flying. “I’m on the plane screaming and the flight attendant is trying to calm me down, only to be told I’ve probably flown more miles than her. But I’m worried about every time I have to fly. And I can’t sleep. I have to be wide awake all the time, no matter how long the trip is. I know it’s not good for me,” he said. “But the show has to go on,” says the reggae singer who continues to tour the world and dazzle fans with spellbinding performances.


Hers is undoubtedly a timeless story, steeped in disbelief, and it is the stuff of which legends are made. And while his good fortune, if you can call it that, to have rubbed shoulders with and shared the stage with reggae icon Bob Marley is part of his story, being a third of the I-Three is by no means this entire “dawta” narrative. She enjoyed exceptional, chart-topping success as part of the talented duo, Bob and Marcia, whose union produced such hits as the socially conscious Young Gifted And Black, which worked its way to No. 2 on the mighty UK charts and saw them appear on BBC’s Top of The Pops.

“The Bob (Andy) and Marcia years were great, and it was amazing how things came together,” she recalled. “I had signed a contract with a certain Mr. Huber in Germany, only for me to reach England and hear about the success of Young Gifted And Black and that we were invited to do Top of The Pops. I was in a dilemma because it was very important and I wanted to do the series, but I also had to go to Germany and honor my contract. Either way, I did the show,” she recalls with a laugh, still amazed at her brave decision decades ago. “As you can imagine, Mr. Huber was not happy, and he made that clear in no uncertain terms. But he was a really nice man, and I quickly left England to go to Germany.

As a solo artist, Marcia Griffiths’ pioneering efforts resulted in a trailer for singles such as Exit from Babylon and D rameland, followed by writing by Bunny Wailer electric boogie in 1983. The anti-aging song and dance electrified the world and went viral long before the term viral was even a thought. Marcia describes her amazement to see an entire stadium in Europe moving in unison to her song. “I was stunned. It was like a wave. Everyone was doing this dance.

From his Bob Marley years, Marcia is the first person to shout out to the world how special Bob Marley was. “When I saw how serious this man was about music, it gave me a whole new perspective. Bob opened my eyes not only to the fun and the dance, but also to the message of music. She describes the death of the reggae icon as devastating. “We weren’t prepared. We didn’t expect that. We had gone to a show and expected him to join us, but things happen,” she said quietly.

“I’m glad I gave her flowers while she was alive,” she said, her voice joyful, while her eyes reflected a tinge of sadness.

Marcia Griffiths, a model and style icon, is said to remain in demand due to her crossover appeal to adult and young fans. “She covers the spectrum of reggae. Even on this new album, she’s doing collaborations with a lot of young artists like Romain Virgo and Busy Signal, so she’s still in demand,” her manager, Copeland Forbes, said.

Timeless, which covers a wide range of artists/songs, from Delroy Wilson’s Once you p On time to Heptones Baby be real, by Peter Tosh I am the hardest and the Abyssinians’ Bill of Rights, plus a mix of ska including Jackie Opel, Toots Hibbert, The Wailers and Rita Marley, is aptly described as “a timeless voice, echoing a timeless era that is sure to help revive popular reggae music“.


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