Born in Jamaica in 1946, McGregor began singing at the age of seven. Under the tutelage of Studio One's Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd, and intense mentoring from the likes of Marley, Alton Ellis and Ken Boothe, he honed his skills. In the mid-sixties, he formed the duo Freddie and Fitzroy with Ernest 'Fitzroy' Wilson before joining the harmony vocal group the Clarendonians.
In 1975, McGregor was sworn into the Rastafarian faith, with his lyrics reflecting the faith's teachings, in tunes such as 'I Am a Rasta', 'Mark of the Beast' and 'Sgt Brown'.
His debut solo album, the 1979 'Zion Chant', was to become the precursor to 35 subsequent releases, including some memorable tunes like: 'Come Now Sister', 'Africa Here I Come', and his signature piece 'Big Ship'.
McGregor's first UK chart hit came in 1986 with 'Push Come To Shove'. Later, 'Just Don't Want to Be Lonely', a cover of the Main Ingredient's original, soared to number nine on the UK charts. Ill-fated negotiations with Polydor followed, only to be dashed by industry politics.
McGregor also set up The Children's Fund, a charity based and administered in Birmingham that supports the needs of children
world-wide. "They have been doing a great job distributing funds to different charities and organisations. A lady named Selma is in charge of it, so the work continues even without my presence," he said of the organisation's work.
In 1989, McGregor launched the Big Ship record label, named after his 1981 hit, and has dedicated much of his time to producing albums for the likes of Judy Mowatt, General Degree and Mikey Spice, who McGregor says will be supporting him at his Valentine's concert this weekend - February 13th, 2005 - in Brixton. Also performing at the gig will be Marcia Griffiths, Ken Boothe and Leroy Smart.
Now McGregor's big ship really has come in to dry dock. Twice nominated for the elusive Grammy, the crooner still remains highly philosophical. "It's like you go to the Olympics and you run second, so you go back and train and next year you come with the intention to come first."
Like the man said, he's coming in tough and looks well equipped for the duration.