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Cyril Daddieh

Ivorian reggae music star, was born in Dimbokro on 1 January 1953 to a Muslim mother and a Christian father. The oldest of nine children, he was named Seydou Koné, after his grandfather, and brought up by his grandmother, Cheri Coco, in the Muslim faith. Early signs of rebelliousness prompted his exasperated grandmother to call him “blondy,” an apparent mispronunciation of “bandit” (troublemaker). Reunited with his father in Odienné in 1962, young Blondy spent the next ten years attending Saint Elisabeth High School, where he became involved in student politics and also developed an interest in music. Expelled from school for an altercation with his math teacher, Blondy went to Monrovia, Liberia, to study English. He proceeded to the United States, settled in New York in 1973 and enrolled first in Hunter College and later in the Columbia University s American Language Program to pursue a career as ...

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Kate Tuttle

With his eleven albums and worldwide tours, Alpha Blondy has brought an African flavor to the Jamaican-born musical genre of reggae. Although critics admit that Blondy has not yet fulfilled his early goal of becoming the next Bob Marley (probably the best-known reggae artist), they do hail the Côte d’Ivoire singer’s passionate lyrics and charismatic performances.

The man born Seydou Kone in Dimbokro Côte d Ivoire was renamed Blondy a variation on the Dioula word for bandit by his grandmother who raised him Though little is known of his childhood Blondy says he chose his new first name Alpha himself and that he learned French from reading the Bible though his grandmother also introduced him to the Muslim holy book the Qur an Koran Expelled from school reportedly for forming his first reggae band the Atomic Vibrations Blondy eventually moved to New York City There he studied and worked and ...

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Oluwakemi Adesina

The profound ramifications of the roots reggae music and Rastafarianism as philosophical and ideological tools for the understanding of Africa and the African diaspora reached its highest point with the eclectic musical career of Robert Nesta Marley (hereinafter Bob Marley). At home and abroad, Bob Marley was regarded as a poet, a prophet, and a mystic. He was a “revolutionary artist,” “Rasta Prophet,” and a host of other significant epithets all derived from Marley’s vintage messages of strength, defiance, and rebellion in the face of racial and all forms of oppression. A powerful writer of revolutionary and visionary songs, the extremely charismatic and iconic Bob Marley was the twentieth-century Jamaican music legend born of mixed parentage in St. Ann’s Parish, Jamaica, on 6 February 1945 When he was ten years old his father died of a heart attack and Marley then left home at the age of fourteen to ...