Winston Rodney, OD (born March 1, 1948), also known as Burning Spear, is a Grammy Award winning Jamaican roots reggae singer and musician. Like many famous Jamaican reggae artists, Burning Spear is known for his Rastafari movement messages. Rodney was born in Saint Ann's Bay, Saint Ann, Jamaica, as were Bob Marley and Marcus Garvey; who both had a great influence on Rodney's life: Garvey in his philosophy, which Burning Spear greatly took to, and Marley in directly helping Burning Spear get started in the music industry by introducing him to Clement Dodd. Burning Spear was originally Rodney's group, named after Jomo Kenyatta, the first Prime Minister and President of an independent Kenya, and initially including bass singer Rupert Willington, later expanding to include tenor Delroy Hinds. As fame took hold the name of the group gradually became synonymous with Rodney. Burning Spear is one of the strongest proponents of Marcus Garvey's self-determination and self-reliance for all African descendants, thus leading to several album releases in commemoration of the Jamaican activist. In 2002, Burning Spear and his wife, Sonia Rodney who has produced a number of his albums, founded Burning Spear Records. Burning Spear advocates messages of honesty, peace, and love, which tie in with his religious and political messages of Rastafarianism and black unity. Along with his musical message, the Spear continues to tour all over the world. His concerts often last 2 hours long with several bongo drum solos by Burning Spear himself. Burning Spear was awarded the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer on October 15, 2007.
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