The group that took reggae to the world was originally formed by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer and went through numerous line-up and name changes before achieving global superstardom. Strongly influenced by the singer Joe Higgs, they began their recording career with producer Coxsone Dodd in their hometown of Kingston, Jamaica, releasing their first single, “Simmer Down”, in 1963 (though Marley had already released two solo singles). It went to Number 1 in Jamaica and the Wailers were on their way. Further local hits followed with “It Hurts to Be Alone” and “Lonesome Feeling”. Johnny Nash had a hit with Marley's song “Stir It Up” and studio collaborations with Lee 'Scratch' Perry and producer Leslie Kong using the bass and drum team of brothers Aston and Carlton Barrett between 1969-71 came to define the reggae rhythm that swept the world. Island Records owner Chris Blackwell recognized their genius and their first Island release, 1973’s Catch a Fire sold the group to a rock market and introduced them to UK and American audiences. Eric Clapton covered “I Shot the Sheriff” from 1973’s Burnin’. Despite personnel changes and political turmoil at home, Marley and the Wailers - with distinctive backing vocals from the I-Threes - reigned supreme through the rest of the 1970s; achieving hit singles with “No Woman No Cry”, “Exodus”, “Jamming”, and “Is This Love”. When Marley died of cancer on May 10, 1981 many felt the world lost a true musical genius. Peter Tosh Bunny Wailer each remained beloved figures in Jamaican music. Peter Tosh passed away September 11, 1978, and Bunny Wailer succumbed to complications from a stroke on March 2, 2021.