For over 25 years, Michael Rose – he changed the spelling to Mykal in 1991 claiming that this is the Ethiopian version of the name – has been recording and performing his brand of militant, hardcore Jamaican music to the delight of reggae fans around the world. First, as a solo artist, then with the band, Black Uhuru, and back as a solo artist, the “Ruff” Rose has achieved great success throughout his career, even as different Jamaican musical styles have phased in and out of popularity. Perhaps the highest profile recognition came in 1984, when Michael Rose and the other Black Uhuru members (Duckie Simpson, Puma Jones, Sly Dunbar, and Robbie Shakespeare) won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album, Reggae’s first Grammy award for their album, Anthem.
But the story doesn’t begin with Black Uhuru. In 1976, Michael Rose was already a seasoned performer, having honed his skills by performing on Jamaica’s hotel circuit. When an early incarnation of Black Uhuru (Duckie Simpson and Errol Nelson) approached Michael to join the group, he already had several solo singles to his credit. These include the original Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Clap the Barber.
With lead singer Michael Rose seemingly at the top of his game, he parted ways with Black Uhuru, with the intention of redefining his musical direction as a solo artist. As a solo artist, Mykal regularly tours the U.S. and Europe, and has maintained his Jamaican fan base with hit singles on the island and abroad. He is a modern roots singer and fits perfectly into today’s scene. He has been praised as “one of Jamaica’s most distinguished singers” and for launching a distinctive form of reggae singing that originated in his home neighborhood of Waterhouse in Kingston.