Born on 11 November 1961, his mother called him London Andrew Roberts. Growing up, however, he was given the name Half Pint by a neighbor in his childhood community [of] Waterhouse in Kingston 11.
Half Pint’s career as a singer/songwriter began to take shape in 1983 when his smash hit single “Winsome” topped the charts in Jamaica. The next couple of years were to be the foundation years for Half Pint. During this time three albums were released – Moneyman Skank, Half Pint in Fine Style, and One in a Million [that] included hit singles like “Political Fiction,” “Mr. Landlord,” “Moneyman Skank,” and “Sally.” Continue reading →
Since Reggae Report last caught up with Reggae/Rap/R&B diva Diana King, the sultry singer-songwriter married the man who inspired her crossover hit “Shy Guy,” moved to sunny South Florida, delivered a healthy baby boy, and is currently doing promotional activities in support of her new album, Think Like a Girl (Work), a powerful follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut, Tougher Than Love (1995 Work/Columbia).
During an early October interview while en route to a radio visit in Providence RI, the affable, articulate Jamaican-born artist spoke candidly about the long-awaited new album, her innovative vocal style, and the personal and musical developments that have led to this point in her career. Continue reading →
2019 UPDATE: Congratulations to brothers Ian and Roger Lewis, co-founders of the Grammy-winning band Inner Circle, on receiving Jamaica’s Order of Distinction (the government’s sixth-highest civic honor) at a King’s House ceremony on October 21, 2019, in Kingston. Honored for Inner Circle’s more than 50-year musical contributions, their iconic lead singer Jacob Miller was also recognized and awarded, and his son Taki Miller accepted posthumously on his behalf.
Here is a Reggae Report interview and story by writer and editor Sara Gurgen after catching up with bandleader Roger Lewis following Inner Circle’s 1994 Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album (they won that Grammy in 1993!)
INNER CIRCLE – Miami’s “Bad Boys” Nominated for ’94 Grammy
by Sara Gurgen
They won the Grammy for best 1993 Reggae album, and now Inner Circle–Miami’s world-famous, hard-working “Bad Boys” of Reggae–have been nominated for the 1994 Grammy with their latest Big Beat/Atlantic release, Reggae Dancer.
“It’s doing excellent, man, everywhere in the world; and when I mean excellent, I mean excellent,” said band leader and rhythm guitarist, Roger Lewis, in a recent Miami interview during a brief respite from Inner Circle’s hectic touring schedule.
“It is one of the biggest selling foreign albums in Japan. Over 300,000 albums [have sold] in Japan [as of Dec. 21]. Hundreds of thousands in Mexico. In Brazil, in Europe–very well. In America, it’s not doing too bad. I think we made it up to about 200,000 copies.”
One of the songs on the album that has been released worldwide and doing very well is “Games People Play.” “It was not really a success in America, but ‘Games People Play’ was literally a hit single everywhere else in the world,” explained Roger. “It was a top 10 song in about 10 countries in Europe. It didn’t really go No. 1 and do what “Sweat” did, but it was top 10 in Holland, in Germany, in Scandinavia, in Brazil; and it was No. 1 in Japan.” Continue reading →
The mystery surrounding the violent death of Reggae Superstar PETER TOSH is as complex and mysterious as the man himself. The many reports, stories, assumptions, and speculations leave a shroud of doubt and suspicion in staggering proportions.
What is known to date is that on the evening of Friday, September 11, 1987, three gunmen on motorcycles entered Tosh’s Plymouth Avenue residence in Barbican, Kingston, Jamaica. Apparently known by Tosh, the three were in the house for a short while before the massacre began. What a dark day for Reggae and a sad and shameful day for mankind. One of the killers, Dennis Lobban, turned himself into the Kingston Police only days later, following a warrant issued for his arrest and the involvement of Interpol (the international police force.) Two others are still being detained, their names as yet unannounced.
The first to be fired upon was Marlene Brown, long-time girlfriend and Tosh’s current manager and accountant. Winston “Doc” Brown was shot and killed on the spot, with Peter being shot several times and reportedly beat about the head. He died hours later at the University of the West Indies Hospital. Jeff “Free I” Dixon also received shots to the head resulting in his death days later. Also wounded were Free I‘s wife Joy, Peter’s drummer Carlton “Santa” Davis, and another friend named Michael Robinson. Continue reading →
Reggae Report Publisher Releases Vol. 1 of Reggae Trilogy: 200+ 80s & 90s Reggae & Dancehall Artist Headshots
The First eBook from the Reggae Report Archives is an Essential Timeline Depicting the Fashion, Culture & Lifestyle of this Dynamic Era
Publisher M. Peggy Quattro releases the first compilation of Reggae history from the Reggae Report Archives. Reggae Trilogy Vol. 1: 200+ 80s & 90 Artist Headshots is an entertaining, engaging time capsule that features 13 chapters of Reggae and Dancehall Headshots. Each collection begins with a personal and enlightening introduction by the Reggae pioneer. More than 200 promo Headshots depict the distinctive fashion, culture, and lifestyle that catapulted Reggae artists onto the 80s and 90s world stage.
Thousands of promotional Headshots poured into Reggae Report for more than 20 years. As a fan and archivist, Ms. Quattro knew one day these photos would tell their own story. This wealth of photos will be delivered in three volumes of the Reggae Trilogy series. Crucial chapters include the Bands, Legends, Women, Singers, Groups, Dub Poets, Dancehall, Musicians, USA Reggae, International, Industry Pros, The Marleys, and Where Are They Now?. Continue reading →
Interviewed by M. Peggy Quattro
Written by Sara Gurgen
The talented ladies in Reggae have historically taken a back seat to the popularity of their numerous male counterparts. A handful of singers, and even fewer DJs, have held their ground and withstood the test of time.
Not to be outdone by the current crop of new lady DJs, the lovely and talented Lady G has consistently proved that she is not yet ready to be considered among the “dead and gone.” The sweet appearance of Lady G does not belie her steely interior, and the Spanish Town-born DJ has taken her shot at macho males with her latest sizzling releases. Lady G, who has seen a great response to her hit song “Me or the Gun,” a demand that her man chooses between which one “gives more fun,” is now coming in strong with her latest song “If I was a Gal.”
“You’ve got guys who call women gals; that’s not the right way for a man to style [call] a woman,” said Lady G following her terrific performance inside Ft. Lauderdale’s Reggae Cafe. Referring to her new song, she goes on to explain: “It’s not the name they should call the women. In some countries–like Trinidad–they call their women gal. It’s not the name that they call the women, it’s the way they express it.” Lady G is telling the men that if they want to get a woman’s attention, these days, that’s not the way to do it. Continue reading →
Sly & Robbie: Reggae Disciples Standing Up For Reggae
Words by M. Peggy Quattro – Aug. 30, 2008 (Listen to the Audio below!)
With careers spanning more than 30 years and hundreds of thousands of recorded tracks, SLY and ROBBIE – aka the Riddim Twins – are still standing up for reggae. Equal partners in the studio or on the stage, these world-renown artists, performers, and producers represent reggae to the fullest. Fueled by, what Robbie calls “God-power,” this ageless duo is having a seriously fun time doing it.
I caught up with Sly and Robbie, long-time friends and colleagues, after their rousing performance with reggae rock dubsters Simply Stoopid, Internet sensations hailing from southern California, and Hawaii’s popular threesome, Pepper. These groups are young, energetic, and tour 250+ days a year. For 10 years, these reggae rockers have bucked the system and achieved phenomenal success by using the Internet as their medium. Starting out by performing for 50, 100, then 500+ faithful fans, both groups now sell their original music online and draw thousands of loyal fans to their wildly entertaining live performances.