He began recording in 1992, with his first single “Ebony & Ivory” on the Aquarius Record label, followed by his debut album Moving Up for RAS records in 1993. LHe is the seventh of nine children and was born to extremely spiritual and musical parents while growing up in Davyton, a small district in the central parish of Manchester, Jamaica.
After voicing several covers for the producer Sky High, Lhe released “Give My Love A Try,” which was produced at Castro Brown’s New Name Studio and was a hit in Jamaica. It was there that Luciano met international reggae superstar Freddie McGregor. Joining McGregor’s Big Ship production company, he began creating cultural, conscious reggae that reflected his religious and social concerns. Again in 1993, he scored a #1 UK reggae hit with the song “Shake It Up Tonight” but he says, “I didn’t see myself going in that pattern, singing love songs, dressed in a felt hat, looking smooth. It looked very splashy.”
He rose to prominence in the mid-1990s, at the height of the “Rasta Renaissance” in dancehall music, beginning with the album One Way Ticket in 1994. The renewal of Rastafarian influence into dancehall music in the early 1990s had begun with artists such as Tony Rebel and Garnett Silk. After Silk’s death in late 1994, many looked to Luciano to continue consciousness in reggae music. Of Garnett Silk, he stated “Garnett was more like a brother, a father, a tutor, a forerunner. When he moved on I knew the work for me became harder still.”
He had by then joined producer Phillip “Fattis” Burrell and his Xterminator label, after New Name and Big Ship failed to release albums of his material. The following year brought the smash hit album Where There Is Life for Chris Blackwell’s major label Island Jamaica. It contained such hits as “It’s Me Again Jah”, “Who Could It Be”, as well the title track. He recorded a second album for Island Jamaica in 1997 entitled Messenger, whose title track earned him his enduring nickname.
The majority of his recording in the mid-to-late 1990s was for Burrell and the Xterminator label, which by that time included such artists as Sizzla, Mikey General and Firehouse Crew, as well as recordings from Capleton and Cocoa Tea. Along with the work on the two albums for Island Jamaica, the majority of Luciano hits produced by Burrell were featured on 1999’s Sweep Over My Soul. Burrell and he parted ways in 1999.
By 2001, he had released two live albums as well as two compilation albums alongside Sizzla and Anthony B after the split with Xterminator. That year saw the release of two new albums of material, Great Controversy on Jet Star and A New Day on VP Records. The latter received a nomination for Best Reggae Album at the 2002 Grammy Awards, and was executive produced by longtime saxophonist and touring partner Dean Fraser. The album received additional production from Sly & Robbie and was backed by Fraser and the Firehouse Crew.
Fraser continued to produce many of Luciano’s albums throughout the decade, including 2008’s Jah Is My Navigator. In 2010, he released United States of Africa. While the previous album had focused mostly on God, Africa dealt with global events. Of this, Luciano stated, “We’re not just singing about Zion and all those glorious dreams. We’re also dealing with issues that affect the people, their very minds.”
He was awarded the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer on 15 October 2007, in recognition of his contribution to reggae music.
In July 2009, Luciano paid his respects to fellow musician Michael Jackson by releasing a reggae tribute (on Lioni Records) of Jackson’s iconic USA for Africa charity song, “We are the World”.
His latest album, The Qabalah Man, was released on the 29 November 2013.