Dancehall originated in Jamaica in the late 1970s as an offshoot of reggae and has since spread to the rest of the world. The genre has become popular, not just in the Caribbean, but all over the world to the extent that international artists including Rihanna and Drake have released dancehall tracks.
While many artistes try their hand on the genre, very few ensure that dancehall vibes remain in the airwaves. Who is the king of dancehall music? Find out in our list of best dancehall artistes of 2019.
- Vybz Kartel
Image: instagram.com, @vybzkartel
It goes without saying that Vybes Kartel has the most hits in dancehall and is by far the most dominant artist in the genre. Although he is currently behind bars, the dancehall sensation has topped the charts for a better part of the year and deserves the top spot as the best dancehall artist of 2019.
2. Sean Paul
Image: instagram.com, @direalshaggy Source: Instagram
Sean Paul is famous for his single hit ‘Give it Up to Me,’ that was featured in the 2006 blockbuster “Step Up”. Sean Paul has so many successful albums that he has released over time. He has won a lot of awards and Grammys over time. The second album of Sean which was titled ‘Dutty Roc’ won the 2004 Grammy for Best Reggae Album. Most of his fans attribute his success to his outstanding dancehall performances and great tunes. Although he is known for his dancehall vibe, Sean Paul also produces songs in other genres. He has pop hits, reggae show-stoppers, and killer dancehall songs in various song charts. With such releases, it is no wonder that most individuals in the world are familiar with the artiste.
The 2001 ‘Hot Shot’ album by Shaggy sold over 20 million copies across the globe, making him one of the top-selling artistes. It made him acquire so much recognition. Shaggy has continued to release successful albums after album, causing people to fall in love with his music more and more.
Konshens has risen to be one of the finest international dancehall artists. He teamed up with some of the biggest producers this year including Major Lazer and also collaborated with Chris Brown. Konshens held great shows this year and released hits such as ‘Turn Me On’ and ‘Right Back’ which lit up the dancehall scene in 2018.
5. Beenie Man
Image: instagram.com, @kingbeenieman Source: Instagram
Beenie Man is a famous dancehall artist who is popularly known for his hit track ‘King of Dancehall’. This ‘Zim Zimmer’ deejay hit the airwaves back in the 1990s and has managed to maintain his catalogue of hits. He is ranked among the top innovative artists of Jamaica due to his breathtaking songs. Beenie Man is loved by millions of individuals across the globe. He has released multiple songs in genres such as dancehall, reggae, and raga.
6. Busy Signal
Signal Image: instagram.com, @busysignal_turf Source: Instagram
Busy Signal has always maintained his flow and melody whether he is doing reggae or dancehall. His well thought out lyrics have earned him many fans across the world. In 2018, Busy Signal gave some of the best dancehall songs he has ever done including ‘Everywhere’, ‘Stay So’, ‘Go Agai’, and ‘Table Speak’.
Image: instagram.com, @popcaanmusic Source: Instagram
Last year saw Popcaan collaborate with big producers and his tracks, ‘Stray Dog’ and ‘El Chapo’ were among the most popular dancehall tracks of 2018. Popcaan became famous after he started working with his mentor, Vybz Kartel, and he went on to adopt his style. From then, he has found international recognition and has worked with international producers and artists such as Major Lazer, Dre Skull, and Snoop Dogg.
8. Sizzla Kalonji
Image: instagram.com, @therealsizzlakalonji Source: Instagram
Sizzla Kalonji is famous for his great lyrics and impeccable songwriting capabilities. He is among the most significant dancehall artists in the world because of his inspirational music. His songs tend to inspire action and uplift any individual who could be feeling low. Sizzla has released over 56 albums between his 1990 debut “Burning Up” and 2019. His songs tend to reveal more of his Rastafarian roots. They also tend to revolve around the politics and social justice system of Jamaica.
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Things always looked bright from early 2016 for this young dancehall prodigy, Alkaline. He has consistently created good music thanks to his lyrical style. His rise has coincided with the imprisonment on Vybz Kartel which indicates that he has everything it takes to be a dancehall king. In 2018, he did some of his greatest hits yet including ‘Impact’, ‘Pretty Girl Team’, and ‘Gyalis Pro’ which is a collaboration with Sean Paul. As his Kartel-inspired sound continues to hit the airwaves leaving dancehall fans anticipating for more hits, his star can only continue to shine brighter.
10. Lady Saw
Image: instagram.com, @ministermarionhall Source: Instagram
Lady Saw, also known as Marion Hall earned the name Queen of Dancehall from her fans. She is one of the most successful female dancehall musicians and has won millions of hearts with her impeccable lyrics and songs. Lady Saw was the first female DJ to win a Grammy due to her collaborative efforts in ‘Underneath It All’. Although currently, Lady Saw is into gospel music, she is definitely one of the most remarkable pioneers of dancehall music.
Image: instagram.com, @originalkoffee Source: Instagram
Koffee has slowly risen to become one of the most popular dancehall artists in the world. She rose to fame due to her viral hit ‘Toast’. It is dominating not only reggae but also dancehall charts across multiple countries in the world. ‘Toast’ was even featured in the box office by Jordan Peels known as ‘US’. Koffee is on the rise to stardom and fans cannot wait to see what she has in store musically!
Image: instagram.com, mavadogully Source: Instagram
Mavado is one of the most consistent dancehall artists ever. Not a year passes without him releasing a hit and featuring in the top list of dancehall artist and 2018 was no different. His songs, ‘Careless Gal’, and ‘Way We Roll’ kept the mood high at every dancehall party. His other top songs this year include ‘Memory’ and ‘Badness’ which guaranteed him a place as one of the best dancehall artists of 2019.
13. Charly Black
Image: instagram.com, @charlytrelawnyblack Source: Instagram
Charly Black is still riding high from his most famous song to date, ‘Gyal You a Party Animal’. In 2018, the lyrically affluent dancehall artist didn’t disappoint. His top songs of the past year included ‘My Girl Now’, ‘You Are Perfect’, and ‘Big Bumper’. Charly has risen to become one of the well-known dancehall artists worldwide. He is passionate about music and his lyrics and focus on love songs has made him the sensation he is today. He deserves his spot in the top dancehall artists list of 2019.
14. Bounty Killer
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Bounty Killer is a veteran dancehall artist who is considered one of the most influential musicians in the dancehall industry currently. Bounty Killer is linked to the successful careers of other dancehall artistes such as Vybz Kartel, Busy Signal, and Mavado.
15. Mr Vegas
Image: instagram.com, @mrvegasmusic Source: Instagram
Clifford Smith, popularly known by his stage name Mr Vegas is among the top best dancehall musicians in the world. He started his music career in 1997 when he was 23 years old. Smith released albums such as Sweet Jamaica and Reggae Max. He is famous for tracks like Yu Sure, Latest News, and Jack It Up. Mr Vegas, who started singing covers at small parties and shows, is today considered one of the best dancehall musicians.
Image; instagram.com, @king.yellowman Source: Instagram
Yellowman is viewed as one of the pioneers of the dancehall music genre. Most people rank him among the best dancehall musicians of all time. Yellowman, who is also known as Winston Foster, used to release songs of contemporary reggae, but with twists that glued his audience. Initially, Yellowman received so much criticism for sexual explicitness in many of his early tracks. However, this later changed. Yellowman joined other famous artists in their course of producing music that entertained, taught, and inspired people.
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Squash came into the spotlight with the 6IX movement Squash. Since then, Squash has taken the dancehall industry with a bang with hits such as ‘Trending’ and ‘Money Fever’. He has collaborated with other prolific dancehall artistes such as Vybz Kartel, Chronic Law, Jahvillani, and Bobby Six. He has great videos for jams such as ‘Beat Dem Bad’ and ‘Cyah be the Same’.
Image: instagram.com, @masickamusic Source: Instagram
Masicka is a multi-talented singer, songwriter, and DJ who has taken the dancehall world by storm in 2018. His collaboration with Vybz Kartel, ‘InfraRed’, was the biggest dancehall hit of 2018. Masicka’s rise in dancehall can only continue as he collaborates with some of the established dancehall artists including Aidonia and Vybz Kartel. With his talents and lyrical style, he has everything it takes to keep dancehall music flying high.
Image: instagram.com, @spiceofficial Source: Instagram
Spice added some flavor to dancehall with her songs such as ‘Sheet’, which became a worldwide hit and even had a dancing challenge on YouTube. She also did ‘No Worries’ and partnered with I-Octane on the song “Long Division”. Last year Spice reminded her fans why she is one of the best female dancehall artists at present as her songs featured on every dancehall. She was also nominated for the MOBO award.
20. Shatta Wale
Image: instagram.com, @shattawalenima Source: Instagram
The Ghanaian musician, Shatta Wale, has defied many odds to rank not only as the best dancehall artist in Africa, but he is also one of the best dancehall artists in the world. His lyrical approach and thoughtful lyrics have propelled him to his position. Shatta Wale continues to drop hit after hit in dancehall and has little competition in Africa. Some of his big projects this year include ‘Taking Over’, ‘Ayo’, and ‘Low Tempo’. While 2018 was an amazing year in dancehall, it has set the bar higher for 2019. Many artistes have established themselves on the map this year and will be looking to make an impact this new year by featuring in the top list of best dancehall artistes.