By Kevin Jackson Observer Writer
A NUMBER of Jamaican artistes have enjoyed mainstream success in North America. This trend dates back to the early 1960s when Millie Small hit with My Boy Lollipop.
The artistes who made this list racked up multiple Billboard entries, sold gold and platinum albums and songs or won Grammy awards.
Shabba Ranks won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae album twice. First in 1991 for As Raw as Ever and 1992 with X-tra Naked.Among his Billboard riders were Mr Lover Man (featuring Chevelle Franklin), Family Affair, House Call (with Maxi Priest) The Jam (with KRS One), Slow and Sexy (with Johnny Gill), Let’s Get it On and I Was a King (which featured actor Eddie Murphy).
Shaggy – Took dancehall to the top of the charts with multi-platinum albums such as Boombastic and Hot Shots. Boombastic reeled off hits like In The Summertime which was done with Barbadian singer Rayvon and the title track. His Pure Pleasure album, released in1993, contained a Billboard hit with his cover of the Ffolkes Brothers’ Oh Carolina.
Shaggy’s Billboard run continued with the number one hits It Wasn’t Me and Angel from Hot Shots. He also charted with Why You Treat Me So Bad (featuring Grand Puba), Strength Of a Woman, Freaky Girl, Hey Sexy lady, Dance and Shout, and Luv Me Luv Me which was done with Janet Jackson.
Shaggy won a Grammy award for Best Reggae album in 1995 for Boombastic.
Sean Paul – Followed the path of Shabba Ranks and Shaggy with big-selling albums, songs and Grammy awards. The deejay first made the charts with Hot Gal Today with Mr Vegas and Deport Dem. But it was not until 2002 with Gimmie Di Light that Sean Paul made a massive impact. The track hit the US Top 10 and wound up on his sophomore album, Dutty Rock, which contained five Billboard Hot 100 Top 20 singles including the number one hits Get Busy and Baby Boy (featuring Beyonce).
Dutty Rock sold over six million copies worldwide. Sean Paul’s follow-up albums The Trinity (2005) and 2009’s Imperial Blaze also rode the Billboard charts. The Trinity sold two million copies in the US.
Diana King – Her smash hit, Shy Guy, sold gold and made the soundtrack to the movie Bad Boys which starred Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Backed by the major Sony Music label, King charted briefly with covers of Aretha Franklin’s I Say a Little Prayer For You and Chaka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody, as well as L-L-Lies and Love Triangle. Her albums Tougher than Love and Think like a Girl also sold well.
Lady Saw – Was rewarded with Billboard pop hits in Smile (with Vitamin C, which went gold) and a guest shot on No Doubt’s Grammy-winning single Underneath it All (which reached number three on Billboard).
Super Cat – Was featured on rap duo Kriss Kross’ hits Jump and Alright and Sugar Ray’s massive Fly. Dolly My Baby (featuring Mary J Blige), Ghetto Red Hot, Scalp Dem, Dem Nuh Worry We and Girls Town all made the Billboard charts.
Patra – Queen of The Pack was a hit album for her, with hits such as Think About It (alongside singer Lyn Collins), Romantic Call (featuring American rapper Yo Yo), and Worker Man.
Scent of Attraction, her sophomore album, was released in 1995 and contained a remake of the Grace Jones hit Pull Up to My Bumper. R&B singer Aaron Hall collaborated with Patra on the chart hit, Scent of Attraction.
Inner Circle – Roared back to life with the 1993 album, Bad Boys. The song of the same name and follow-up single Sweat made the Billboard pop chart and earned the album a Grammy Award.
Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley – Welcome to Jamrock was an international hit in 2005. The album of the same name went gold. Marley also charted with As We Enter and Road to Zion, which both featured rapper Nas. The Welcome to Jamrock single entered several Billboard charts. Marley has won two Grammys – Best Reggae Album for Welcome to Jamrock and Best Urban Alternative Performance.
Beenie Man – The self-styled King of the Dancehall debuted on the Billboard charts in the late 1990s. Slam, Dancehall Queen, Who Am I (Zim Zimma), Love Me Now, Feel it Boy (with Janet Jackson), Hmm Hmm, Girls Dem Sugar, King of the Dancehall and Dude earned him an audience with US pop fans. In 2000, the album Art and Life copped the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.
Honourable mention: Ini Kamoze – A hit-maker in the 1980s, the roots singer topped the Billboard pop chart in 1994 with Here Comes the Hotstepper. The single sold platinum in the US, gold in Germany and silver in France. His follow-up single, Listen Mi Tick, also charted on Billboard’s Dance, R&B and Hot 100 singles charts.
Source: Jamaican Observer