Bob Marley might be the best-known person associated with Jamaica, but he isn’t the only ‘big name’ to have come from the Caribbean island. Jamaica has a rich history of achievement in sports, great music and beautiful people who have reached the top of their fields to become world famous. Here are five famous Jamaicans.
Perhaps the most famous living Jamaican is Olympic and World Champion sprinter, Usain Bolt. Bolt shot to fame in 2008 when he broke the 100-meter world record in New York City, with a time of 9.72 seconds, which at the time was held by his countryman, Asafa Powell. Later that year, Bolt competed in the Beijing Olympics where he broke his own 100 meter record with a stunning time of 9.69 seconds to win the gold medal.
He also ran in the 200 meter race, again winning gold while breaking Michael Johnson’s world record – which had stood since 1996 – with a time of 19.30. Bolt won triple gold in the Olympics when he ran the third leg in Jamaica’s winning 100-meter relay team. Amazingly, the team recorded the fastest time ever in the event, to make it three world records for Bolt.
Shortly after these successes, Bolt donated $50,000 to children who were injured in the earthquake in the Sichuan province of China. He later broke his own record for the 100 meter race to win the World Championship in Berlin. At just 24 years old, Bolt is already a phenomenon who has revolutionized his sport and could go on to dominate for another decade.
Born in Jamaica’s capital of Kingston in 1973, Sean Paul is a Grammy winning Reggae and Dancehall artist who has become famous worldwide. Best known for his hits ‘Gimme the Light,’ ‘Get Busy,’ ‘Like Glue,’ ‘Baby Boy,’ and ‘I’m Still in Love with You,’ Sean Paul has established a name for himself with his funky dance fusion sounds and colorful music videos.
In 2006, he won the American Music Award for ‘Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist,’ as well as MTV’s ‘Best International Artist’ in 2007. Sean won the Grammy Award for ‘Best Reggae Album’ for his work on ‘Dutty Rock’ in 2004.
Although Naomi Campell was born in Streatham in South London. Her mother – who was once a ballet dancer – is of Jamaican descent. Campbell shot to worldwide fame in the early 1990’s as part of the ‘supermodel powerhouse.’ They were known as ‘The Big Six,’ and also included Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista and Kate Moss.
Along with Turlington and Evangelista, she was also part of the ‘Trinity.’ Campbell has worked with numerous major modeling agencies, including; IMG Models, Storm Model Management (London), Marilyn Agency (Paris), and D’management Group (Milan). She even appeared in Madonna’s controversial coffee table book entitled “Sex.” In recent years, Campbell has received negative press due to multiple accusations of assault, incidents involving photographers, and her part in a high-profile court case over blood-diamonds. Although she is famous for her breathtaking beauty, she is becoming infamous for her temper. Now in her 40s, it is notable that she is remains stunning.
Patrick Aloysius Ewing was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1962. Before making it in basketball, Ewing was very good at playing cricket and soccer. At the age of eleven, Ewing’s family moved to America, setting up home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he learned to play basketball.
Ewing played most of his career with the NBA’s New York Knicks, but also went on to have brief stints with the Seattle SuperSonics and Orlando Magic. Ewing played as a center and was part of the USA’s ‘Dream Team’ at the Barcelona Olympics. In 2008, Patrick was admitted as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame – an honor only awarded to the very best in the field of basketball. The Knicks retired his number ’33’ in 2003.
No list of famous Jamaicans would be worth its web-space without the name ‘Bob Marley’ appearing on it somewhere. Born in the village of Nine Mile in Saint Ann Parish in 1945, Marley – who was Nesta Robert Marley until a passport official switched his first two names – was the son of a white Jamaican father of English decent and a black Jamaican mother.
He was raised as a Catholic, but during a period in the 1960’s, when he was away from his mother’s influence, Marley became interested in Rastafarian beliefs, which played a big part in the development of Reggae. Marley was central in introducing Reggae music to the international stage. Previously, it had only been popular within socially deprived areas of Jamaica.
He first found fame as part of The Wailers, with Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh. Marley went on to become one of the most famous musicians of all time, with numerous hits including ‘Jamming’, ‘Buffalo Soldier’ and ‘Выкуп товара из Китая‘ Marley died in 1981, at the age of 36, after cancer (melanoma) spread to his vital organs. His last words to his son were ‘money can’t buy you life’.