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Lucky Dube Songs That Will Inspire You: The Top 10 Reggae Anthems

Lucky Dube Songs: A Tribute to the King of Reggae


If you are a fan of reggae music, you have probably heard of Lucky Dube, the legendary South African singer and songwriter who was known as the king of reggae. Lucky Dube was one of the most influential and successful reggae artists in the world, with a career that spanned over 25 years and produced more than 20 albums. He was also a voice of social justice, human rights, and anti-apartheid activism, using his music to spread his message of peace, love, and unity.

In this article, we will pay tribute to Lucky Dube by exploring his life, his music, and his legacy. We will also list the top 20 best reggae songs of Lucky Dube that you should listen to if you want to experience his amazing talent and spirit. Let's get started!

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The History and Influence of Lucky Dube Songs

How did he start his musical career?

Lucky Dube was born on August 3, 1964, in Ermelo, a small town in the eastern part of South Africa. He was named Lucky because his mother considered his birth fortunate after having lost her first three children. He grew up in poverty and hardship, living with his grandmother while his mother worked as a domestic worker in Johannesburg. He was exposed to music at an early age, singing in the school choir and joining a band called The Skyway Band when he was 18.

He recorded his first album in 1982, titled Lengane Ngeyethu, which was sung in Zulu and featured a style of music called mbaqanga, a fusion of traditional African rhythms and western pop influences. He continued to record mbaqanga albums for the next five years, gaining popularity and recognition in South Africa.

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How did he switch from mbaqanga to reggae?

Lucky Dube's musical direction changed in 1984, when he discovered reggae music through listening to artists like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Jimmy Cliff. He was inspired by the political and spiritual messages of reggae, as well as its roots in African culture. He decided to switch from mbaqanga to reggae, despite the risk of losing his fan base and facing criticism from the music industry.

He released his first reggae album in 1985, titled Rastas Never Die, which was banned by the apartheid government for its anti-oppression lyrics. He followed it with Think About the Children in 1987, which became a huge hit and established him as a reggae star in South Africa and beyond. He also formed a new band called Slaves, which consisted of some of the best musicians in the country.

How did he spread his message of peace, love, and justice?

Lucky Dube's songs Lucky Dube's songs were not only catchy and uplifting, but also powerful and meaningful. He used his music to address the issues that affected his people and his country, such as apartheid, racism, poverty, violence, corruption, and oppression. He also sang about universal themes such as love, faith, hope, freedom, and unity. He was not afraid to speak his mind and challenge the status quo, even if it meant facing censorship, harassment, or threats.

Lucky Dube's songs also had a global appeal and impact. He was one of the first African artists to break into the international market, touring extensively in Europe, America, Asia, and Australia. He performed at major festivals and events, such as the 1991 Reggae Sunsplash in Jamaica, the 1993 Reggae on the River in California, the 1995 Africa Unite concert in Ethiopia, and the 1997 Tribute to Nelson Mandela concert in London. He collaborated with other renowned artists, such as Sting, Sinead O'Connor, Peter Gabriel, and Youssou N'Dour. He won numerous awards and accolades, such as the 1996 World Music Award for Best Selling African Recording Artist, the 1997 Kora Award for Best African Artist of the Decade, and the 2001 South African Music Award for Best Reggae Album.

How did he inspire other reggae artists in Africa and beyond?

Lucky Dube was not only a great musician, but also a great mentor and role model. He inspired and supported other reggae artists in Africa and beyond, sharing his knowledge, experience, and resources with them. He helped to create a platform for African reggae music to be heard and appreciated worldwide. He also paved the way for other genres of African music to gain recognition and respect.

Some of the artists who were influenced by Lucky Dube include Alpha Blondy from Ivory Coast, Majek Fashek from Nigeria, Tiken Jah Fakoly from Mali, Culture Brown from Jamaica, Gentleman from Germany, and Matisyahu from America. They all acknowledged Lucky Dube as their inspiration and paid tribute to him after his tragic death in 2007.

The Top 20 Best Reggae Songs of Lucky Dube

Lucky Dube recorded over 20 albums and hundreds of songs in his career. It is hard to choose the best ones among them, but here are some of his most popular and memorable reggae songs that you should listen to:


This song was released in 1989 as the title track of his fifth reggae album. It is a song about the oppression and injustice that many people face in their lives. It compares the situation of a prisoner in jail to that of a poor person in society. It also expresses the hope that one day things will change for the better.

The chorus goes like this:

I'm a prisoner

Don't feel sorry for me

I'm a prisoner

But soon I'm gonna be free

Remember Me

This song was released in 1989 as well. It is a song about the pain and sorrow of losing a loved one. It is dedicated to Lucky Dube's mother, who passed away when he was young. It also reflects on the legacy that he wants to leave behind for his children and fans.

The chorus goes like this:

Remember me

In whatever you do

I love you

Daddy loves you too


This song was released in 1990 as the title track of his sixth reggae album. It is a song about the history and effects of slavery and colonialism on Africa and its people. It denounces the exploitation and oppression that Africans have endured for centuries. It also calls for liberation and empowerment of the African continent and its people.

The chorus goes like this:

Slave, slave

We were taken away from our family

Slave, slave

We were sold into slavery

I've Got You Babe

This song was released in 1990 as well. It is a cover version of the famous song by Sonny and Cher, but with a reggae twist. It is a song about the love and devotion that a couple shares. It also celebrates the joy and happiness that love brings to life.

The chorus goes like this:

I've got you babe

I've got you to hold my hand

I've got you babe

I've got you to understand


This song was released in 1991 as the title track of his seventh reggae album. It is a song about the importance and value of respect in human relationships. It urges people to respect themselves, respect others, and respect nature. It also warns against the consequences of disrespect, such as violence, hatred, and war.

The chorus goes like this:

Respect yourself

Respect me

Respect everybody

And everybody will respect you

House of Exile

This song was released in 1991 as well. It is a song about the plight and struggle of political exiles and refugees who have to flee their homes and countries due to oppression and persecution. It also expresses the longing and hope for freedom and justice that they have.

The chorus goes like this:

Freedom fighter standing on a mountain

In a foreign country

Trying to send a message

To his people, back in the ghetto

It's Not Easy

This song was released in 1992 as the title track of his eighth reggae album. It is a s

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