The ‘Reggae Ambassadors’ have released more than 30 studio, live and compilation albums over the course of its 40-year run, with countless hit singles.
- Third World was formed in 1973 with original members guitarist/cellist Steven ‘Cat’ Coore, keyboardist Michael ‘Ibo’ Cooper, drummer Carl Barovier and singer Milton ‘Prilly’ Hamilton – all former members of another reggae band, Inner Circle, along with bassist Colin “Oliver” Leslie. Richard Daley, from Tomorrow’s Children, another reggae band, soon replaced Leslie, who became one of the group’s managers.
- Bunny Rugs, who had also been a member of Inner Circle, joined the band as lead singer in 1976.
- Coore and Daley are the two longest-standing members.
- The group’s debut single was called Railroad Track.
- Third World was the opening act for Bob Marley & the Wailers’ 1975 World Tour.
- The group’s place in reggae history was cemented with the release of its sophomore album, 1977’s 96 Degrees in the Shade, which was a critical success across Europe. The album’s titular song is a reggae classic.
- The group achieved a commercial breakthrough with its third album, 1978’s Journey to Addis, which featured a funky cover of the O’Jays Now That We’ve Found Love.
- American musical icon Stevie Wonder penned two singles for the band’s 1982 album, You’ve Got the Power, the massive hit Try Jah Love and You’re Playing Us Too Close. This partnership came about after Wonder teamed with the band to perform his tribute to Bob Marley, Master Blaster (Jammin’) at the 1981 Reggae Sunsplash.
- The Reggae Ambassadors’ list of accolades include the 1986 United Nations Peace Medal, the 1992 and 1996 Jamaica Music Industry Awards for Best Show Band and “The Art of Reggae Music” award for 40 years of quality music and dedication at the 2013 staging of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival.
- The band has received 10 Reggae Grammy nominations.
Third World Playlist
We’ve put together a list of 10 of the band’s most popular international hits.
- Satta Massagana (Abyssinians cover)
- 1865 (96 Degrees in the Shade)
- Now That We’ve Found Love
- Try Jah Love
- Sense of Purpose
- Lagos Jump
- Reggae Ambassador
- Always Around
- By My Side (ft Tessanne Chin)