Judy Mowatt

Judy Mowatt, 1952 in Gordon Town, St. Andrew Jamaica. is a Jamaican singer and songwriter, associated with Bob Marley and the Wailers. 13 years old, Judy Mowatt became a member of a dance troupe which toured Jamaica and other islands in the Caribbean. Her ambition was to become a registered nurse, but instead she dedicated her life to nurse and restore healing to the hearts and soul of mankind through her music. Her earliest influences were Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield, Dionne Warwick, Bob Marley, Marcia Griffiths, The Staple Singers and The Soulettes. A coincidental meeting with two teenage girls who were earlier in her dance troupe led to the formation of the Gaylettes, in 1967.

Judy Mowatt associated with Bunny Livingston/Wailer in the early 1970s, and she has written some of the tracks recorded by Bunny Wailer. At that time, for legal reasons in the music business, she used alternate names as Juliann and Jean Watt. On The Wailers LP Burnin’ (1973), two songs with Bunny Wailer as lead singer was written by Judy Mowatt under the pseudonym Jean Watt: “Hallelujah Time” and “Pass It On”. Furthermore, the Wailers recorded a single, “Reincarnated Soul”, also written by Jean Watt and sung by Bunny Wailer. This song – with the name changed to “Reincarnated Souls” – was included two years later on Bunny Wailers first solo album Blackheart Man (1976).

In 1974, she got her big break by joining Bob Marley’s backing vocal trio the “I-Threes”.

Her Black Woman LP (1980) is considered by many critics to be the greatest reggae LP done by a female artiste. It was also the first reggae LP recorded by a woman acting as her own producer.

She became the first female singer nominated for a Grammy in the category of reggae music when her Working Wonders LP was nominated in 1985.

Formerly a member of the Rastafari movement, in the late 1990s she converted to Christianity and now sings Gospel music.


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