cover image

Chris Blackwell

English record producer / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short by simply answering these key questions:

Can you list the top facts and stats about Chris Blackwell?

Summarize this article for a 10 years old


Christopher Percy Gordon Blackwell (born 22 June 1937)[1] is a Jamaican-British former record producer and the founder of Island Records,[2] which has been called "one of Britain's great independent labels".[3] According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to which Blackwell was inducted in 2001, he is "the single person most responsible for turning the world on to reggae music."[4] Variety describes him as "indisputably one of the greatest record executives in history".[5]

Quick facts: Chris Blackwell, Background information, Birt...
Chris Blackwell
Background information
Birth nameChristopher Percy Gordon Blackwell
Born (1937-06-22) 22 June 1937 (age 86)
Westminster, London, England
GenresRock, reggae
Occupation(s)Record producer
Years active1959–present

Having formed Island Records in Jamaica on 22 May 1959 when he was nearly 22, Blackwell was among the first to record the Jamaican popular music that eventually became known as ska.[2] Returning to Britain in 1962, he sold records from the back of his car to the Jamaican community.[3] His label became "a byword for uncompromised artistry and era-shaping acts".[6]

Backed by Stanley Borden from RKO, Blackwell's business and reach grew substantially, and he went on to forge the careers of Bob Marley, Grace Jones and U2 among many other diverse high-profile acts.[2] He has produced many seminal albums, including Marley's Catch A Fire and Uprising,[7] Free's Free and The B-52's' self-titled debut album in 1979.

Having sold Island in 1989, Blackwell embarked on ventures in "hotels, real estate, resorts, another record company, rum, and his Island Films released Kiss of the Spider Woman and Stop Making Sense, among others".[5] In 2022, he published a memoir, The Islander: My Life in Music and Beyond.[8][9]