Buju Banton (born Mark Anthony Myrie 15 July 1973) is a Jamaican dancehall, ragga, and reggae musician. Banton has recorded pop and dance songs, as well as songs dealing with sociopolitical topics.
He released early dancehall singles in 1988 but came to prominence in 1992 with two albums, Stamina Daddy and Mr. Mention, which became the best-selling album in Jamaican history upon its release. Banton signed with major label Mercury Records and released Voice of Jamaica the following year. By the mid-1990s, Banton had converted to the Rastafari faith, and his music undertook a more spiritual tone. His 2010 album Before the Dawn won Best Reggae Album at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards.
Buju Banton was born in Kingston, Jamaica in a poor neighborhood called Salt Lane. Buju is a nickname given to chubby children that means breadfruit in the language of the Maroons in Jamaican and was given to him by his mother as a child. Banton is a Jamaican word that refers to someone who is a respected storyteller, and it was adopted by Myrie in tribute to the deejay Burro Banton, whom Buju admired as a child. It was Burro’s rough gravelly vocals that Buju emulated and ultimately made his own. Buju’s mother was a higgler, or street vendor, while his father worked as a labourer at a tile factory. He was the youngest of fifteen children born into a family that was directly descended from the Maroons of Jamaica.