|Birth name||Keith Blair|
March 31, 1976 |
|Labels||VP, Greensleeves Records|
Blair grew up in rural Clark's Town in the northwestern parish of Trelawny in Jamaica. 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 and Peter Tosh, 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 Rastafari movement 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. He is a member of the Bobo Ashanti branch of the movement. "Bobo Dreads", as they are known, are recognizable by their long robes and turbans. The strong Afrocentric pride and the other Rastafarian beliefs (or "overstandings" as Rastafarians prefer to call them) are reflected in his songs.
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 instead. He collaborated with Little Devon and made his debut single "The Living is Hard" on the Wizard label in 1993. Anthony B tried many different producers before joining with Richard Bell, creating hits such as "Fire Pon Rome", "Raid Di Barn", "Rumour", and "Repentance Time". Anthony B's 1996 debut album entitled Real Revolutionary in the UK and So Many Things in the US was highly acclaimed in the reggae community. In late 1997, Anthony B released Universal Struggle, followed by a large number of albums since including 1999's Seven Seals, 2003's Street Knowledge, 2004's Untouchable which featured collaborations with artists including Wyclef Jean, Snoop Dogg & Bone Crusher, 2005's Black Star plus My Hope, and more recently, Life Over Death (2008).
In January 2013, he was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute after being stopped in Georgia, United States due to illegally tinted windows in the vehicle in which he was travelling; He subsequently had to cancel several shows in South America as he was not allowed to travel outside the US.
In July 2013 he released Tribute to Legends, an album of cover versions of songs by artists such as Bob Marley, The Maytals, John Lennon, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, and Ini Kamoze; Speaking of the album, he stated "I chose to make a tribute album to firstly show how much these legends influence my music and my life."
Anthony B tours extensively with Jason Sese in Europe and North America.
Talking of his faith and music, Anthony B commented, "When we say 'burn fire' we don't mean take a match and light somebody, we are saying get rid of these things that are no good for humanity."
- Predator & Prey (1996, Alpha Enterprises)
- Real Revolutionary - UK / So Many Things - US (1996, Greensleeves)
- Universal Struggle (1997, VP Records)
- Seven Seals (1999, VP Records)
- That's Life (2001, VP Records)
- More Love (2001, AO ! Records)
- Live On The Battlefield (2002, Jahmin' Records)
- Street Knowledge (2003, VP Records)
- Judgment Time (2003, 2B1 Records)
- Smoke Free (2003, Bogalusa Records)
- Voice Of Jamaica vol. 2 (2003, Nocturne)
- Wise Man Chant (2004, Black Scorpio)
- Justice Fight (2004, Nocturne)
- Untouchable (2004, Togetherness Records)
- Powers Of Creation (2004, Nocturne)
- Black Star (2005, Greensleeves)
- My Hope (2005, AL.TA.FA.AN. / Minor 7 Flat 5)
- Confused Times (2005, Penitentiary)
- Gather and Come (2006 Penitentiary)
- Suffering Man (2006 Tad's Records)
- Higher Meditation (2007 Greensleeves)
- True Rastaman (2008 Penitentiary Records)
- Life Over Death (2008 Trendsetter)
- Rise Up (2009)
- Rasta Love (2011)
- Freedom Fighter (2012)
- Choices (2012)
- Tribute to Legends (2013)
- Chanting Down Babylon (1997, Power Play); live, with Buju Banton
- 2 Strong (1998, Star Trail/VP Records); with Sizzla
- Anthony B & Idren (1998, Jamaican Vibes)
- Anthony B & Friends (1998, Rhino Records)
- Nazarene Vow (1999, Records Factory); with Junior Timba
- 3 Wise Men (1999, J&D); with Sizzla and Luciano
- One Mission (1999, J&D); with Capleton
- Saddle To The East (2001, Brick Wall); with Jah Mason and Steve Machete
- 4 Rebels (2001, VP Records); with Sizzla, Luciano, and Yami Bolo
- The Five Disciples (2001, Penitentiary / Jet Star); with Sizzla, Luciano, Junior Kelly, and Capleton
- We Three Kings (2001, AO ! Records); with Sizzla
- We Three Kings (2002, Navarre); with Capleton and Luciano
- Four The Hard Way (2002, City Hall); with Capleton, Sizzla, and Luciano
- Kings Of Zion (2002, Jet Star); with Capleton, Sizzla, and Junior Kelly
- Reggae Max (2002, Jet Star)
- 5 Blazing Fires (2002, Fire Ball); with Admiral Tibbett, Sizzla, Capleton, Positive Jayz and Michael Fabulous
- Five Disciples Part II (2003, Jet Star); with Capleton, Luciano, Sizzla, and Jr. Kelly
- Kings Of Zion vol. 3 (2005, Charm); with Capleton, Sizzla, and Turbulence
- Jah Warriors vol. III (2005, Penitentiary); with Luciano
- Encore (2010)
- NYC-2-Africa (2010, Suatomic Sound); with Subatomic Sound System, Nomadic Wax, Jahdan Blakkamoore, and Bajah
- Anthony B Biography at United Reggae
- Moskowitz, David V (2006) Caribbean Popular Music: an Encyclopedia of Reggae, Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, and Dancehall, Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-33158-8, p.13-14
- Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0242-9, p.17
- Ankeny, Jason "Anthony B Biography", Allmusic, Macrovision Corporation
- "Anthony B cancels South American shows", Jamaica Observer, 3 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013
- Jackson, Kevin (2013) "Anthony B's ode to legends", Jamaica Observer, 26 July 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013
- Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Jason Sese. p. 364. ISBN 1-904041-96-5.