I would like to know who were the trending reggae artists when Bob Marley started to sing and who were his influences. I'm not sure if the reggae existed yet, but there must have been at least pre-reggae artists ?
Actually Bob Marley was indeed one of the first Reggay (Reggae) artists.
The first song credited with being Reggae is (Toots and)The Maytals - Do The Reggay ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJwfh2TbmJg ) which was everyones influence.
While studying with Joe Higgs, Bob and Bunny were introduced to future members of the Wailers. (The History of Bob Marley). Joe Higgs had a large influence on Marley and his new friends. In 1963, Higgs introduced Bob and Bunny to Peter Tosh and Junior Braithwaite and established a band named the Wailers.
I recently wrote an answer to a similar question here. Is the old myth of reggae's creation true?
When Bob Marley started it was the Wailing Wailers and it wasn't even reggae. It was called ska and is the predcessor and that which gave birth to reggae. It was a vibrant time in Jamaica, as the country was gaining its independence from England. The music is associated with that era and those joyous times. The Gaylads, Keith & Tex, The Paragons, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe and many others were the artists of the times.