From Lollipop to The Voice

Monday, December 16, 2013    

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WHEN Tessanne Chin steps onto the stage in Los Angeles this evening for the finals of the NBC talent show, The Voice, she continues a rich tradition of Jamaican female artistes who have an international mark. We look at eight of them:

Millie Small

Millie Small, a teenaged singer from Clarendon topped the British national chart in 1964 with the ska ditty, My Boy Lollipop. The song, a cover of American Barbie Gay's minor hit, also did well in the United States.

The I-Three

Bob Marley's harmony trio, The I- Three, were the first visible Afrocentric female group from Jamaica. Natty Dread, released in 1974 by Island Records, was the first Marley album featuring Judy Mowatt, Rita Marley and Marcia Griffiths. They toured the world with the singer, helping introduce reggae to a global audience. Their distinctive tones can be heard on his greatest albums including Exodus and Survival.

Grace Jones

Grace Jones was born in Jamaica but raised in the United States. Emerging from the artsy New York City club scene, she helped make avant garde cool in the 1980s. Working with Sly and Robbie, she returned to her roots and hit the right notes with songs like My Jamaican Guy and Pull Up to The Bumper.

JC Lodge

London-born, Jamaican-raised J C Lodge broke through internationally in the 1980s with Someone Loves you Honey, a song originally done by American country singer Charlie Pride. A decade later, Lodge recorded a strong album (Tropic Of Love) and enjoyed minor American success with the songs Home is Where The Hurt Is and Telephone Love.

Diana King

Diana King was lead singer of the City Heat band and an in-demand backup singer before signing to Sony International affiliate Chaos Records in the early 1990s. She hit gold for the label with the 1994 album, Tougher Than Love, which was driven by the hit song Shy Guy.


The Grace Jones of the 1990s, Patra, did not have a career that was as enduring. Her cover of Jones' Pull Up to The Bumper was a hit, while her Queen of The Pack and Scent of Attraction albums went gold.





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