Mark Anthony Myrie was nicknamed Buju (“chubby child”) by his mother, and he took the surname Banton as an homage to dancehall reggae deejay Burro Banton.
∙ Local audiences first knew him as Gargamel—his stage name when he began toasting at age 12.
∙ In 1992, he not only released the best-selling album in Jamaican history, Mr. Mention, but he also charted the most No. 1 singles in one year—an honor previously held by Bob Marley & The Wailers.
∙ After he embraced Rastafarianism in the mid-’90s, his lyrics took a turn toward spirituality and social activism.
∙ A musical ambassador, Banton has worked with a wide range of artists, including John Legend, Rancid, and Malian singer-songwriter Salif Keita.
∙ His 10th studio LP, Before the Dawn, won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2011.
∙ In 2019, he became the first solo artist to sell out Jamaica’s 35,000-capacity National Stadium since Bob Marley did it in 1978.