Winston Rodney (born 1 March 1945), better known by the stage name Burning Spear, is a Jamaican roots reggae singer and musician. Rodney, bass singer Rupert Willington and later tenor Delroy Hinds formed the group Burning Spear in 1969 which was originally named after a military award given to Jomo Kenyatta, the first Prime Minister and President of an independent Kenya. Burning Spear is a Rastafarian and one of the most influential and long-standing roots artist to emerge out of the 1970s. Like many famous Jamaican reggae artists, Burning Spear is known for his Rastafari movement messages, Bob Marley and Marcus Garvey had a great influence on Burning Spear’s life. Garvey in his philosophy, which Burning Spear greatly took to, and Marley in directly helping Burning Spear get started in the music industry.
The Spear is one of the strongest proponents of Marcus Garvey’s self-determination and self-reliance for all African descendants, thus leading to several album releases in commemoration of the African activist. Spear advocates messages of honesty, peace, and love, which tie in with his religious and political messages of Rasta and black unity. Burning Spear has been nominated for several Grammy Awards in the best reggae album category. His 1999 album, Calling Rastafari brought his first Grammy Award in 2000, a feat which he repeated with Jah Is Real in 2009. It was the third completely self-produced and independent CD released on the Burning Music, the label started in 2002 by Spear and his wife Sonia. Burning Spear was awarded the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer on 15 October 2007.
"Some artists transcend the need for award, but are nonetheless deserving of decades of accolade. Burning Spear is such an artist. A music-maker, community icon, educator, spiritual uplifter; Burning Spear's importance to culture existed before media spotlight, and has only grown since. For nearly four decades and more than 25 albums, he has carried the torch of the gospel of political activist Marcus Garvey, promoting self-determination and self-reliance for African descendants through lyrics and rhythms that truly deliver the messages of peace and love to all."
The Spear is undoubtedly the most toured Jamaican artist of all times and is truly worthy of being called a living legend. For more information on great artist visit www.burningspear.net.