Refugee Week: Top 4 Refugee Musicians

With Refugee Week starting on Monday, here at Popjunkie we have been thinking about some of the amazing musicians that have had to flee their homeland as a result of conflict, persecution or natural disaster. This year those behind Refugee Week wanted to celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK through various simple acts. So for our simple act, we have pulled together a top 4 list of musicians that happen to be refugees.

Bob Marley
Remains the most widely known and revered performer of reggae music, even after his death almost 30 years ago. He has often be credited with helping spread Jamaican music to a worldwide audience. Bob Marley fled Jamaica to Miami after being shot during political violence.

K’naan’s debut album “The Dusty Foot Philosopher” was released in 2005 to critical acclaim, and in 2006, it won the Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year. His style is often described as a fusion of Bob Marley, American hip hip, and protest poetry. According to K’naan himself, he makes “urgent music with a message”, calling for an end to the violence and bloodshed in his homeland Somalia. K’naan fled civil war in Somalia in 1991

Wyclef Jean
A member of the hugely successful hip hop trio, The Fugees, that rose to fame in the mid-1990s, Wyclef has sold an astonishing 31+ million albums throughout his career. Wyclef fled Haiti along with his family when he was nine years old.


M.I.A. has become a household name in recent years with the success of her debut album, Arular, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize, and her second album, Kala, with hit song Paper planes. The songwriter, record producer, vocalist and visual artist came to the U.K with her family after they were forced to flee the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka in the 1980’s.

One thought on “Refugee Week: Top 4 Refugee Musicians

  1. Hi guys!

    Thanks so much for highlighting Refugee Week 2009 and the Simple Acts campaign on your blog!

    It’s support from people like you that has helped us see over 6000 simple acts completed so far!

    Keep up the good work and visit us for a natter


    Anna and the Simple Acts team

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s