Freddie McGregor

Freddie McGregor, born 27 June 1956, Clarendon, Jamaica has been variously a singer, musician and producer. According to Allmusic he is one of reggae’s most durable and soulful singers, with an incredibly steady career that started all the way back in the 1960s, when he was just seven years old.

In 1963 he joined with Ernest Wilson and Peter Austin to form The Clarendonians, and began to record for the Studio One label. McGregor worked with producer Niney the Observer during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In 1975, Freddie McGregor converted to Rastafari, which had a profound impact on his music. He is a member of the Twelve Tribes organisation.

His popularity soared in the early 1980s with the release of “Bobby Babylon”. Other popular hits of McGregor’s include “Big Ship”, “Push Comes to Shove”, “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely” and “I Was Born a Winner”; as well as cover versions of many early reggae standards. He has also worked with producers Junjo Lawes, Linval Thompson, and Gussie Clarke. McGregor has also toured extensively for many years.

In 1984, he inaugurated his own Big Ship label, secured a licensing agreement with RAS Records in U.S. and released Come On Over in 1987.

After slowing his pace in the late 1990s, McGregor returned in 2000 with the acclaimed Signature, which restored his typical balance of roots reggae and lovers rock with touches of dancehall. He followed it two years later with a similarly well-received album, the Grammy nominated, Anything for You.

He established the Big Ship Recording Studio, and has produced many artists including greats such as, Luciano and Mikey Spice.

One of McGregor’s three sons, Stephen, is a dancehall record producer.

McGregor has spanned nearly every stylistic shift in Jamaican music, from ska and rocksteady to Rastafarian roots reggae to lovers rock (his particular specialty) to dabblings in dancehall, ragga, and dub.

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