Freddie McGregor

Here in South Florida, we're lucky to have reggae royalty living in our midst. A number of reggae heavyweights call the place home, from the Marley clan to Inner Circle, but perhaps none of them are as revered as Freddie McGregor. The honey-throated crooner has sung professionally since he was 7 years old and penned songs with his first group, the Claredonians. Considering he was able to hold his own during those early Studio One days of the 1960s, McGregor is now viewed as an icon within the genre. If the name sounds familiar, maybe it's because the performer behind big tunes like "Push Comes to Shove," "Big Ship," and "I Was Born a Winner" is also the man plastered all over billboards and bus stops across South Florida promoting the County Line Chiropractic Center in Plantation. For the record, McGregor is more than just an aging novelty act. Some would argue his voice is getting even better with age. He performed with longtime friend John Holt in April for their internationally acclaimed Reggae Symphony, and this weekend, he graces the stage for Jamaica's 46th independence celebration. Fellow South Florida resident Wayne Wonder will be on hand, as will crowd favorite Half Pint, all of whom should make for one heck of an independence party.

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Jonathan Cunningham