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Anthony B

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Biography

Anthony B is the stage name of Keith Blair (born March 31, 1976), a Jamaican musician.

Blair grew up in rural Clarks Town in the northwestern parish of Trelawny. His deeply religious family life (his mother was a Seventh-day Adventist and his grandmother a Revivalist) imbued him with a profound spirituality. During his youth, his favorite singers were reggae legends Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer, musicians who strongly influenced his own style. Peter Tosh’s influence can definitely be heard in Anthony B’s vocal delivery and revolutionary stance.

Anthony B adopted Rastafarian beliefs as a teenager, a decision which was not well-received by his family. The stubborn and determined Anthony B refused to give up his new religion and his dreadlocks and moved to the home of his aunt and uncle in the Kingston suburb, Portmore.

While attending high school, Anthony B debuted as a deejay for the local sound system, Shaggy Hi-Power. In 1988, he befriended reggae artists such as Determine, Mega Banton, Ricky General and Terror Fabulous.

At this point in the reggae industry, singing “slack” songs about women was the popular thing to do. Anthony B did not believe in degrading women and chose to pen politically-slanted songs rather than so-called “gyal chunes.” He hooked up with Little Devon the Half Pint sound-a-like singer he made his debut single “The Living is Hard” on the Wizard label in 1993. Anthony B tried many different producers but found that none of them fit his style of music. Finally, Anthony B teamed up with Richard “Bello” Bell, creating hits such as Fire Pon Rome, Raid Di Barn, Rumour, and Repentance Time.

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