She is a singer dubbed “Queen of Reggae” who was born Marcia Llyneth Griffiths in Kingston, Jamaica.
She began singing in church and at school concerts while young and entered into her professional career in 1964 when she sang with Byron Lee & The Dragonaires. Before long she recorded and released her first hit single “Feel Like Jumping”.
In 1970 she got together with the singer-songwriter Bob Andy and became the duo Bob & Marcia. This saw her achieving her first success with the UK chart hits “Young, Gifted and Black” and “Pied Piper”. They went their own separate ways in 1974 and she released her solo albums Naturally and Stepping and had the hit song “Stepping Out Of Babylon”.
Soon after she became a co-founder of the I-Threes with Rita Marley and Judy Mowatt . From then until 1981 they backed Bob Marley & The Wailers in a string of hits such as “Buffalo Soldier”, “Could You Be Loved “, “Exodus”, “Get Up, Stand Up”, ” I Shot the Sheriff”, “No Woman No Cry”, “Three Little Birds” and many more.
She ventured back out on her solo career and in 1990 released the album Carousel. This contained her 1982 song “Electric Boogie” which gave her the best selling single release to date by a female reggae artist and around the turn of the 1990s, thanks to airplay by a DJ in Washington D.C., it started the line dance “Electric Slide” which became internationally popular. She has since released the 1995 album Put a Little Love In Your Heart: The Best of Marcia Griffiths, the 1996 Dreamland, the 1999 Certified and the 2007 Melody Life.
Other artists she has recorded with during the course of her career include Jimmy Cliff, John Denver, Serge Gainsbourg, The Meditations, Max Romeo & The Upsetters, Toots & The Maytals, Bunny Wailer, Rick Wakeman and Wyclef Jean. She also appeared on the soundtrack for the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In recent years she has internationally toured as a solo artist and as a member of the I-Threes with The Wailers .
Still performing regularly and appears at many reggaes concerts and festivals and in 2013/4 was the subject of the Brazilian documentary Reggae Meets Samba. Also in 2014 she released her album of cover versions Songs That Inspire Me, Songs I Love to Sing with Germain that was part of her celebration of being in the music business for fifty years. That same year she was the recipient of the Jamaican Order of Distinction (Commander Class).
Here’s her “Electric Boogie”…