Star of Sanguinetti

Monday, December 03, 2018

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EIGHT years ago, Dalton Harris at 16 was in danger of being a has-been. Today, he's sitting on top of the world.

Yesterday, the 24-year-old singer took top honours in the UK's televised talent contest X Factor.

Born and raised in poverty, Harris overcame the odds to win a similar local televised talent competition, Digicel Rising Stars title in 2010. However, what happened with his $1-million prize purse is yet to be disclosed by the singer.

He dropped out of Edwin Allen High School at the 10th grade, lived alone in a dwelling that was bereft of amenities, such as running water and electricity and was lost to the world.

But all that changed when he met music promoter/producer Donovan Germain, the chief executive officer of Penthouse Records.

Harris got into Kingston College (KC) in 2011, and graduated with six Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects, which allowed him to enrol in the school's sixth form programme.

“I remember Mr Germain dropping me off on my first day at KC, and my pants were up here. I had on this combat-looking shoes and when I walked into the school everybody saying 'Ah Dalton Harris dat or not?' “he told the Jamaica Observer in 2013.

The six CSEC subjects that he aced last school year have projected the Sanguinetti (near Spalding) north west Clarendon-born youth into a comfort zone that hitherto was a dream.

“I am the first male in my family of 22 brothers and sisters between my mother and father, to go this far with education,” he said.

Germain, the man whom Harris credited with “saving” his life, described himself as Dalton's father, mentor, and role model, who is proud that he has taken his education thus far.

“I always watched Rising Stars to see if I can find a youngster whom I can work with. When I looked at him I said, 'this youth sounds like him have some talent', so I decided to work with him.”

Germain is one of the most successful producers in dancehall music, having worked with Buju Banton, Wayne Wonder, Beres Hammond and Marcia Griffiths.

He was in the audience at the Wembley Arena in London yesterday.

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