Famous People From Jamaica

List of famous people from Jamaica, including photos when available. The people below are listed by their popularity, so the most recognizable names are at the top of the list. Some of the people below are celebrities born in Jamaica, while others are simply notable locals. If you're from Jamaica you might already know that these prominent figures are also from your hometown, but some of the names below may really surprise you. This list includes people who were born and raised in Jamaica, as well as those who were born there but moved away at a young age.

Ashton Bennett and Tony Rebel are included in this list.

If you want to answer the questions, "Which famous people are from Jamaica?" or "Which celebrities were born in Jamaica?" then this list is a great resource for you.
Ranked by
  • Bob Marley
    Dec. at 36 (1945-1981)
    • Birthplace: Jamaica
    Robert Nesta Marley, (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981) was a Jamaican singer and songwriter. Considered one of the pioneers of reggae, his musical career was marked by blending elements of reggae, ska, and rocksteady, as well as forging a smooth and distinctive vocal and songwriting style. Marley's contributions to music increased the visibility of Jamaican music worldwide, and made him a global figure in popular culture for over a decade.Born in Nine Mile, British Jamaica, Marley began his professional musical career in 1963, after forming Bob Marley and the Wailers. The group released its debut studio album The Wailing Wailers in 1965, which contained the single "One Love/People Get Ready"; the song was immensely popular, peaking in the top five on worldwide music charts, and established the group as a rising figure in reggae. The Wailers subsequently released eleven further studio albums; while initially employing louder instrumentation and singing, the group began engaging in rhythmic-based song construction in the late 1960s and early 1970s, which coincided with the singer's conversion to Rastafarianism. During this period Marley relocated to London, and the group typified their musical shift with the release of the album The Best of The Wailers (1971).The group attained international success after the release of the albums Catch a Fire and Burnin' (both 1973), and forged a reputation as touring artists. A year later the Wailers disbanded, and Marley went on to release his solo material under the band's name. His debut studio album Natty Dread (1974) received positive reception, as did its follow-up Rastaman Vibration (1976). A few months after the album's release Marley survived an assassination attempt at his home in Jamaica, which prompted him to permanently relocate to London soon afterward. There he recorded the album Exodus (1977); it incorporated elements of blues, soul, and British rock, enjoyed widespread commercial success, and is widely considered one of the best albums of all time. Over the course of his career Marley became known as a Rastafari icon, and the singer sought to infuse his music with a sense of spirituality. He is also considered a global symbol of Jamaican culture and identity, and was controversial in his outspoken support for the legalization of marijuana, while he also advocated for Pan-Africanism.In 1977, Marley was diagnosed with acral lentiginous melanoma; he died as a result of the illness in 1981. His fans around the world expressed their grief, and he received a state funeral in Jamaica. The greatest hits album Legend was released in 1984, and subsequently became the best-selling reggae album of all-time. Marley also ranks as one of the best-selling music artists of all-time, with estimated sales of more than 75 million records worldwide, while his sound and style have influenced artists of various genres. He was posthumously honored by Jamaica soon after his death, as he was designated the nation's Order of Merit award.
    • Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
    Sanya Richards-Ross (born February 26, 1985) is a Jamaican-American former track and field athlete who competed internationally for the United States. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she won gold in the 400 metres after finishing third at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Richards-Ross has also won Olympic gold in the 4×400 meters relay at the 2004 Summer Olympics, the 2008 Summer Olympics, and the 2012 Summer Olympics. She was the best 400m runner in the world for a decade, ranking No. 1 in the world from 2005-2009 and again in 2012. In addition to her Olympic accolades, she is also a seven-time medalist at the World Championships in Athletics (five of which are gold). In 2009, she was the World Champion in the 400 metres.
  • Claude McKay
    Dec. at 58 (1889-1948)
    • Birthplace: Clarendon Parish, Jamaica
    Festus Claudius "Claude" McKay (September 15, 1889 – May 22, 1948) was a Jamaican writer and poet, who was a seminal figure in the Harlem Renaissance. He wrote four novels: Home to Harlem (1928), a best-seller that won the Harmon Gold Award for Literature, Banjo (1929), Banana Bottom (1933), and in 1941 a manuscript called Amiable With Big Teeth: A Novel of the Love Affair Between the Communists and the Poor Black Sheep of Harlem which remained unpublished until 2017. McKay also authored collections of poetry, a collection of short stories, Gingertown (1932), two autobiographical books, A Long Way from Home (1937) and My Green Hills of Jamaica (published posthumously in 1979), and a non-fiction, socio-historical treatise entitled Harlem: Negro Metropolis (1940). His 1922 poetry collection, Harlem Shadows, was among the first books published during the Harlem Renaissance. His Selected Poems was published posthumously, in 1953. McKay was attracted to communism in his early life, but he always asserted that he never became an official member of the Communist Party USA. However, some scholars dispute that claim, noting his close ties to active members, his attendance at communist-led events, and his months-long stay in the Soviet Union in 1922–23, which he wrote about very favorably. He gradually became disillusioned with communism, however, and by the mid-1930s had begun to write negatively about it. By the late 1930s his anti-Stalinism isolated him from other Harlem intellectuals, and by 1942 he converted to Catholicism and left Harlem, and he worked for a Catholic organization until his death.
  • Heavy D
    Dec. at 44 (1967-2011)
    • Birthplace: Jamaica, Mandeville
    Dwight Arrington Myers (May 24, 1967 – November 8, 2011), better known as Heavy D, was a Jamaican-born American rapper, record producer, singer, actor. Myers was the former leader of Heavy D & the Boyz, a group which included dancers/background vocalists G-Whiz (Glen Parrish), "Trouble" T. Roy (Troy Dixon), and Eddie F (born Edward Ferrell). The group maintained a sizable audience in the United States through most of the 1990s. The five albums the group released were produced by Teddy Riley, Marley Marl, DJ Premier, his cousin Pete Rock, and Eddie F.
  • Debi Mazar
    Age: 59
    • Birthplace: Queens, New York, USA
    Deborah Anne Mazar Corcos (; born August 13, 1964) is an American actress and television personality, known for playing sharp-tongued women. She began her career with supporting roles in Goodfellas (1990), Little Man Tate (1991) and Singles (1992), followed by lead roles on the legal drama series Civil Wars and L.A. Law. Beginning in 2014, she has had a starring role in the Cooking Channel series Extra Virgin, along with her husband Gabriele Corcos. She is also known for her role as press agent Shauna Roberts on the HBO series Entourage and currently stars as Maggie Amato on TV Land's Younger.
    • Birthplace: New York, New York, USA
    Rocco DiSpirito (born November 19, 1966) is an American chef based in New York City.