Michael Rose... a cornerstone of contemporary reggae and one of the music's most respected artists. Since 1994, the former front man of Black Uhuru has made an amazing comeback and established a highly successful solo career. Born In The Waterhouse district of Kingston, Jamaica, in 1957, Michael's talent was nurtured and inspired early on by many notable artists such as Dennis Brown, John Holt, Big Youth, The Wailers, Sly & Robbie and Owen Gray. It was the legendary producer Niney The Observer, however, who was one of the first to spot Michael's potential, producing his earliest recordings such as "Love Between Us", "Freedom Over Me" and "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner".

Michael came to international prominence as the lead figure and primary creative force of the legendary group, Black Uhuru. He was the intense, mystical voice behind classic songs such as "General Penitentiary", "Sensimilla", "Shine Eye Gal" and "Youths Of Eglington." Backed by the inimitable riddim twins Sly & Robbie, Black Uhuru blazed a trail in the international touring circuit and released a series of hit albums from Showcase and Red to Chill Out. This remarkable run of success culminated in the group winning the first ever Grammy Award for Reggae in 1985 with the album Anthem.

After a long hiatus from music industry, Michael Rose returned as a solo artist in the early nineties, releasing material written and recorded between tours with Black Uhuru. In 1993, Michael re-united in the studio with Sly & Robbie, resulting in a string of dancehall hit singles such as "Mr. Mention", "Monkey Business", "Bad Boys", One A We Two A Wi" and "Visit Them".

In 1995 Michael Rose returned with a bang into the public eye when he signed with Heartbeat Records and released his first U.S. solo album entitled Michael Rose. Produced again by Niney The Observer and recorded at the Mixing Lab Studio, the album yielded the U.S. hit single, "Short Temper" (on the "Tempo" riddim). 1996 saw the release of his second Heartbeat abum, the self produced set, Be Yourself, containing original material such as the hits "Rude Boys Back In Town" as well as new versions of old classics such as "I Love King Selassie". A dub album of Be Yourself followed entitled Big Sound Frontline.

On Michael's fourth Heartbeat album, Dance Wicked, he links up with the UK production duo Mafia & Fluxy. Some of the tracks on Dance Wicked are strongly reminiscent of the classic early eighties Sly & Robbie/Black Uhuru sound. The album also features the track "Lion In The Jungle" (a duet with Maxi Priest) along with some lovers rock, some dancehall, and Michael on a classic dance riddim (Dennis Edwards' "Don't Look Any Further") on the the soul mix of "Mind Made Up".

Between 1998 and early 1999 was quite a time for Michael Rose as reggae was sort of rediscovering itself. The dancehall was in turmoil with the unwelcome emergence of the gun and violence. So with the call of the public for a return to roots reggae music, Michael teamed up with a UK based outfit called the Dub Tribe, headed by bassist Eddie Brown. The Dub Tribe consists of musicians who have worked with Mad Professor, the great Lee "Scratch" Perry, U Roy, Freddie McGregor, Yabby You, Frankie Paul, Aswad, Macka B and others. Michael Rose is currently working with the UK Dub Tribe.

Michael Rose is one of those unique artists who has a genuinely international reputation yet manages to stay in favour with his Jamaican fan base by voicing tracks for various current producers and releasing them under the moniker Mykal Roze. His vocal style is one of the most recognizable in reggae music. Often imitated, yet never duplicated, it is a style that has inspired many other singers. With his conscious lyrics, Michael Rose is also recognised as one of the voices of culture in the dancehall, and an artist whose music transcends categories of ragga, dancehall and roots.

Text provided courtesy of CRS Europe. Photo: Teacher.

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