The legacy of reggae vocalist Denroy Morgan has been passed on to his sons, who have performed as Morgan Heritage since 1991. While its mellow, R&B-influenced vocals and Rastafarian lyrics have been compared to Garnett Silk, the group has continued to pave its own musical path. The band’s many hits include “Let’s Make Up,” “Tell Me How Come,” “Set Yourself Free,” “Mama and Papa,” and “Protect Us Jah.” Initially an octet featuring eight of Morgan‘s 29 children, Morgan Heritage began recording in the early ’90s. Although they attended school in Springfield, Massachusetts, they spent their weekends in their father’s recording studio in Brooklyn. Their debut single, “Wonderful World,” was produced by their father and released in 1991. An album, Growing Up, followed shortly afterward.
The first break for Morgan Heritage came the following year when they performed at Reggae Sunsplash. Their performance was so impressive that MCA offered them a recording contract almost as soon as they left the stage. Their first album for MCA, Miracle, released in 1994, was a major disappointment as the album clung to mass market reggae formulas. Touring the Ivory Coast in 1995, Morgan Heritage rediscovered their musical roots. Toward the end of the year, the group traveled to Jamaica to record their next album. Recording during the day with Lloyd “King Jammy” James and at night with Bobby “Digital” Dixon, the group took a major leap forward. Shortly after releasing their second album, Protect Us Jah, in 1997, Morgan Heritage were reduced to a five-piece. In addition to Una Morgan (b. 1973), the group included keyboardist/vocalists Peter Morgan (b. 1977) and Roy “Gramps” Morgan (b. 1975), rhythm guitarist Nakhamyah “Lukes” Morgan(b. 1977), and percussionist Memmalatel “Mojo” Morgan (b. 1981). With Don’t Haffi Dread from 1999 and More Teachings from 2001, they continued to carry the roots reggae torch, while Three in Onefrom 2003 broadened their sound a bit with a guest appearance from the alt-rock band Good Charlotte.
Full Circle from 2005 featured the massive Jamaican hit “Tell Me How Come,” and was followed a year later by Live: Another Rockaz Moment. Mission in Progress arrived in 2008 with the singles “Raid Rootz Dance” and “Love You Right.” The 2009 compilation The Journey Thus Far rounded up their hits, while their 2013 effort, Here Come the Kings, featured the single “Perfect Love Song,” along with a guest appearance from Shaggy.
Shaggy returned for 2015’s Strictly Roots, which was released by the band’s own label CTBC (“Cool to Be Conscious”). The album also featured appearances from J. Boog, Chronixx, Bobby Lee of SOJA, plus solo artist and son of Gramps, Jemere Morgan. The set hit the top spot on the reggae charts and they took home the Grammy for Best Reggae Album in 2016. While ramping up for a global tour, Morgan Heritage began working on an album in studios from Nashville to Miami to Paris with a slew of co-producers. In 2017, they dropped the pre-release single “Reggae Night” (feat. DreZion), followed by the full-length Avrakedabra in May. Album track “One Family” featured guest spots from Ziggy and Stephen Marley.