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Mark Wonder took his stage name from R&B singer Stevie Wonder. - myspace.com/markwonder

Mark Wonder at the Siskiyou Pub

Mark Wonder was born Mark Andrew Thompson in Kingston, Jamaica. The island nation has no shortage of new and roots reggae singers, and Wonder's talents reflect Jamaica's abundance of vocalizers and songwriters.

Wonder was influenced by his mother's love of music and her record collection, which included early R&B classics by The Impressions, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder — whose name he took for the stage.

Wonder also was influenced by "old school" reggae performers such as Burning Spear, Alton Ellis, Marcia Griffiths, Black Uhuru, Bob Marley and The Wailers and others.

Wonder's first stop at a recording studio was at King Jammy's in Kingston. Then the singer moved to Black Scorpio Records, which eventually launched him as a recording artist. A string of singles were released by Jack Scorpio's label and other labels. As Wonder came into his own style, Jamaica's Daily Gleaner and other newspapers began to take notice, and he became an established roots reggae vocalist.

The singer has recorded several albums, including "Sign of the Times" (1996), "Jeremiah" (1998), "Mark Wonder Live at the Couple with Prince Theo and the New Land Band" (2001), and "Break the Ice" (2005). A hit single, "Rainbow Child," emerged from "Break the Ice."

Wonder started his own record label, Battle-Axe Productions, and released his "Victory: The Mystery Unfolds" in 2007. The project is full of lush arrangements and the lyrics touch on a range of social commentaries.

With "Victory," Wonder makes roots music with a modern edge and continues to spread his Rasta world view.

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