We must never forget that Jamaica is an island with a population that's yet to reach three million (meaning, Seattle's metropolitan area has over a million more people than Jamaica). This fact is important because the number of great singers that the island has produced is not consistent with its small population, but with that of a city as big as São Paulo, Brazil. A list of gifted reggae singers could easily fill the tiny space I've been allotted to write about one of the greatest of the great Jamaican singers, Gregory Isaacs.

Also known as the Cool Ruler (a title English-born rapper Slick Rick bit from him) and the Lonely Lover, Isaacs has been around almost as long as reggae has existed. He began his career in the early 1970s, achieved world recognition during the latter part of that decade, and had a big hit in 1982 with "Night Nurse" ("I don't need no doc/I need attendance from the nurse around the block").

Isaacs has successfully recorded political and Rasta tunes, such as "Slave Master," but it is the sad love songs that have immortalized him. In record after record, women are leaving him, rejecting his love, breaking his fragile heart. No other male voice from that island of talented singers has been able to match the hurt he expresses when a woman finally "doesn't care for [him] anymore." While his female partners may treat him shabbily, you should revere Isaacs, as he converts heartache into timeless beauty through song.