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Pato Banton and the Now Generation Biography
Pato Banton (born Patrick Murray; 5 October 1961) is a reggae singer and toaster from Birmingham, England. He received the nickname "Pato" (Jamaican Patois for "wise owl") from his stepfather, and "Banton" from the disc jockey slang for a "heavyweight DJ".
Born in Birmingham, Banton first came to public attention in the early 1980s when he worked with The Beat. He recorded "Pato and Roger a Go Talk" with Ranking Roger, included on the 1982 album Special Beat Service. He went on to record a series of singles for Fashion Records and Don Christie Records. He was one of the guest artists that appeared on the UB40 album Baggariddim in 1985. Banton's debut album was the 1985, Mad Professor-produced Mad Professor Captures Pato Banton, followed in 1987 by Never Give In, which included a collaboration with Paul Shaffer and a follow-up to his earlier collaboration with ranking Roger with "Pato and Roger Come Again". After an EP in 1988, Banton released a more pop-oriented LP, Visions of the World, followed by 1990's Wize Up! (No Compromise), which included a college radio hit in Spirits in the Material World (The Police cover) and another collaboration, "Wize Up!", this time with David Hinds of Steel Pulse.
Banton then worked on a live album and with Mad Professor, and then released 1992's Universal Love. The album Universal Love featured a song covered by Banton called "United We Stand", which was written by fellow Birmingham musician Ray Watts, of the group Beshara. After a 1994 British Number 1 hit in Baby Come Back (originally by Eddy Grant performing with The Equals), with Robin and Ali Campbell of UB40, a best-of album was released, and Banton was invited by Sting to join him on his "This Cowboy Song" single. 1996's Stay Positive was followed by Life Is a Miracle in 2000. Life Is a Miracle received a Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album in the 2001 Grammy Awards. More recently, Banton has been playing with Mystic Roots, a reggae band formed in Chico, California.
A period of deep reflection and meditation left Pato feeling guided to continue his musical journey. In early 2005 Spiritual Guide Yahe Boda invited Pato to do a short tour across America to "Gather the People in Praise." This experience led to Pato recording the inspired double album entitled The Words of Christ, a narrated album of Christ's teachings as revealed in The Urantia Book.
In 2006 he appeared onscreen in a brief cameo role, playing Jay, the owner of an upmarket bar, in the film Lycanthropy.
Pato's most recent release is Destination Paradise (2008). He began 2009 with the formation of a new band, The Now Generation, who undertook a nation-wide tour of the United States, with a commitment to spreading the teachings of The Urantia Book. In the early 2010 Pato performed a special Ska-version show in Tijuana with The Ghostownians as backing-band. Throughout the performance he gave a peace message to the audience to counter the violence there at the time.