Caribbean Queen - Billy Ocean and Ebony Steelband in Concert
Annise “Halfers” Hadeed - Arranger
“I’ve been doing that since I was in Trinidad as a little kid. One of the hurtful things when I came to England was that I had to leave my pan and my dog behind.” ... Billy Ocean
London, United Kingdom - Born Leslie Sebastian Charles in Fyzabad, Trinidad, in 1950, to Grenadian parents, the man known to the world as mega musician Billy Ocean moved to Romford, Essex, England, with his family at the age of eight. Initially a calypso-crazy kid who later soaked up the influences of soul singers like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke (in addition to pop groups like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones), Ocean enjoyed his first taste of success in the mid-seventies with a two-year run of catchy, Motown-influenced UK Top 20 singles - peaking with the Number Two pop smashes ‘Love Really Hurts Without You’ (1976) and ‘Red Light Spells Danger’ (1977).
However, it was not until he signed to the then-independent Jive Records in 1984 that the universal appeal of BiIly’s infectious blend of emotive soul with radio-friendly, melodic pop would turn him into a bona fide worldwide superstar. Prestigiously kicking off his then-new record deal with the Grammy Award-winning US chart-topper ‘Caribbean Queen,’ Ocean’s period with Jive would see him attain global sales comparable to the biggest US black megastars of the day (Lionel, Stevie, etc.) via a string of international smash singles, including two further American pop and R&B Number Ones - 1986’s ‘There’ll Be Sad Songs’ and 1988’s ‘Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car.’ All of these emanated from his multi-Platinum-selling albums ‘Suddenly’ (1984); ‘Love Zone’ (1986); and ‘Tear Down These Walls’ (1988).