Bryan Guy Adams OC OBC (born 5 November 1959) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, record producer, guitarist, photographer, philanthropist and activist. He rose to fame in Canada and the United States with his 1983 album Cuts Like a Knife and turned into a global star with his 1984 album Reckless, which produced some of his best known songs, including "Run to You", "Summer of '69" and his first number one, "Heaven". In 1991, he released the album Waking Up the Neighbours, which included the song "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You". The song became a worldwide hit and reached number 1 in many countries, including a new record of 16 consecutive weeks in the United Kingdom. Adams also had the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles "All for Love" and "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?"
Adams performing in Hamburg, 2007
|Birth name||Bryan Guy Adams|
|Born||5 November 1959|
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
For his contributions to music, Adams has garnered many awards and nominations, including 20 Juno Awards among 56 nominations, 15 Grammy Award nominations including a win for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television in 1992. He has also won MTV, ASCAP, American Music awards, three Ivor Novello Awards for song composition and has been nominated five times for Golden Globe Awards and three times for Academy Awards for his songwriting for films. Adams was awarded the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia for contributions to popular music and philanthropic work via his own foundation, which helps improve education for people around the world. Adams was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in March 2011 and Canada's Walk of Fame, Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1998, and in April 2006 he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at Canada's Juno Awards. In 2008, Adams was ranked 38th on the list of all-time top artists in the Billboard Hot 100 50th Anniversary Charts. On 13 January 2010, he received the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award for his part in numerous charitable concerts and campaigns during his career, and on 1 May 2010 was given the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for his 30 years of contributions to the arts.
Adams is one of the biggest selling Canadian Musicians of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide. Adams released his Ultimate collection in 2017; it included two new songs, "Please Stay" and "Ultimate Love". He co-wrote his first Broadway musical Pretty Woman: The Musical in 2018. Adams then released his 14th album, Shine A Light, on 1 March 2019.
- 1 Life and career
- 2 Pretty Woman: The Musical
- 3 Activism and humanitarian work
- 4 Photography
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Awards and honours
- 7 Discography
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Life and careerEdit
Bryan Guy Adams was born on 5 November 1959 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, to parents from the United Kingdom: Elizabeth Jane (née Watson) and Captain Conrad J. Adams, who emigrated to Canada from Plymouth, England in the 1950s. Adams' father, a Sandhurst officer in the British Army, joined the Canadian Army and later spent time as a United Nations peacekeeping observer for Canada, which led to him becoming a Canadian foreign service diplomat. Adams travelled with his parents to diplomatic postings in Lisbon, Portugal (where he attended the American School of Lisbon) and Vienna, Austria, during the 1960s, and to Tel Aviv, Israel during the early 1970s.
Raised in Ottawa, Adams attended Colonel By Secondary School in the Beacon Hill neighbourhood of East Ottawa. In 1974, Adams, his mother, and younger brother Bruce moved to North Vancouver while his father was posted abroad.
Adams started working in the Vancouver music scene with various bands. At the age of 15, he became the vocalist for pub band Sweeney Todd. An earlier incarnation of the band had a number one hit on the Canadian charts with a song called "Roxy Roller". Adams recorded a re-make of the song for the US which came in at No. 99 on the US charts. This new incarnation of the band also released an album If Wishes Were Horses (1977) with Adams billed as "Bryan Guy Adams" on vocals. Adams left the band at age 16.
In 1978, at age 18, Adams met Jim Vallance through a mutual friend in a Vancouver music store. Vallance was the former drummer and principal songwriter for Vancouver-based rock band Prism, and had recently quit that band to focus on a career as a studio musician and songwriter. They agreed to meet at Vallance's home studio a few days later. This proved to be the beginning of a partnership which, as of 2017[update], is still in existence.
Later in 1978, Adams signed to A&M records for one dollar. Adams recorded the remixed disco song "Let Me Take You Dancing", featuring Adams' vocals sped up to meet the 122BPM dance tempo. The song made the Canadian RPM chart in March 1979 along with its B-Side, "Don't Turn Me Away".
Adams's self-titled debut album, co-written with Jim Vallance, was released in February 1980. With the exception of "Remember" and "Wastin' Time", most of the album was recorded in October and November 1979 at Manta Studios and co-produced by Adams and Vallance. The album was certified gold in Canada in 1986.
Adams's second album, You Want It You Got It, was released in 1981 and contained the FM album-oriented rock radio hit "Lonely Nights". Cuts Like a Knife, which was released in January 1983, was Adams's breakout album. "Straight from the Heart" was the most successful song on the album, reaching number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Another single, "Cuts Like a Knife", charted at number 15. "This Time" also placed on the Hot 100. Music videos were released for four singles from the album; the video for "Cuts Like a Knife" received heavy airplay on music television channels. The album peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200 album chart and achieved three times platinum status in Canada, platinum in the United States and gold in Australia.
Adams's album, Reckless (1984), peaked at number one on the Billboard 200. The album was released in November 1984 and featured the singles "Run to You", "Summer of '69", "Heaven", "One Night Love Affair", "Somebody", and "It's Only Love", a duet with Tina Turner. All the singles had accompanying music videos and all peaked in the Top 15 of the Billboard Hot 100; "Run to You" (number six) and "Summer of '69" (number five) peaked in the top ten, while "Heaven" reached number one. "Heaven" had reached number nine on the mainstream rock chart the previous year when it was released as a non-album track. "Run To You" was the most successful single at album-oriented rock stations, as it spent four weeks at the top of the mainstream rock chart; "Somebody" reached number one for a single week on that chart. "It's Only Love" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. In 1986, the song won an MTV award for Best Stage Performance. After the release of the album, Adams was nominated for Best Male Rock Performance. In December 1984, Adams embarked on a two-year world tour to launch the album starting in Canada and United States, then into Japan, Australia, back to the UK and again to Canada. After winning four Juno Awards, he headed south towards the American West Coast, culminating with two dates at the Paladium in Los Angeles.[failed verification]
In 1985, Adams worked on Roger Daltrey's sixth solo album, Under a Raging Moon. The album was a tribute to The Who's late drummer Keith Moon, who had died in 1978. Adams co-wrote two tracks for the album: "Let Me Down Easy" and "Rebel". The track "Let Me Down Easy" was a Top 15 Hit on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks and featured Adams playing guitar and singing backing vocals beside Daltrey with Robbie McIntosh playing guitar in the music video. Nearly 30 years later, Adams would release his own version of "Let Me Down Easy" on a 30-year anniversary version of Reckless.
The follow-up album to Reckless was Into the Fire (1987). This album contained the hit songs "Heat of the Night" and "Hearts on Fire" and hit the Top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic.
On 24 September 1991, Adams released the album Waking Up the Neighbours. Co-produced by Adams and Mutt Lange, it topped the charts around the world including number 1 in both the UK and Germany and number 6 on the Billboard 200. The album featured four singles including the six-and-a-half-minute classic "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You", that also featured in the motion picture Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and spent a record sixteen consecutive weeks at Number One on the UK Singles Chart, as well as ten weeks on top of the Australian singles chart and seven weeks at the Billboard singles chart's summit. That was followed by "Can't Stop This Thing We Started" which peaked at number 2 in the US, "Do I Have to Say the Words?" reached number 11, and in the UK, "Thought I'd Died and Gone to Heaven" was the second most successful single reaching the Top 10. The album won many awards including a Grammy Award in 1991 for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television.
In 1993, Adams collaborated with Rod Stewart and Sting for the single "All for Love" co-written by Adams for the Motion Picture Soundtrack of the movie Three Musketeers. The single topped the charts worldwide. In November 1993, Adams released a compilation album entitled So Far So Good, that again topped the charts in numerous countries such as the UK, Germany and Australia. It included a brand new song called "Please Forgive Me", that became another number 1 single in Australia as well as reaching the Top 3 in the US, the UK and Germany. It was followed in 1995 by "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?", which was (song released from the Motion Picture Soundtrack of the movie Don Juan DeMarco). It was number 1 in the US and Australia as well as a Top 5 hit in the UK and Germany.
In June 1996, the album 18 til I Die was released. It contained three singles (including two UK Top 10 singles): "The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me" and "Lets Make a Night to Remember" and "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?". The album peaked at number thirty-one on the Billboard 200 in the United States and held that position for three weeks. It reached the top spot on the UK charts for Adams's third number 1 in a row. The album has been certified platinum in the United States by the RIAA. 18 til I Die was certified three times platinum in Canada and Australia and two times platinum in the UK.
In December 1997, Adams released MTV Unplugged with three new tracks: "Back to You", "A Little Love" and "When You Love Someone". "Back to You" was the first single, followed by "I'm Ready", an acoustic version of the Cuts Like A Knife track. The album was a top 10 success in Germany while both singles reached the top 20 in the UK.
On a Day Like Today was released in 1998 and the release coincided with his contract being sold to Interscope Records. On a Day Like Today enjoyed tremendous success internationally, entering the Top 5 in Germany and was certified platinum in the UK. It generated two British Top 10 singles: "Cloud Number Nine" and "When You're Gone", which featured Melanie C of The Spice Girls.
In 1990, Adams voiced the evil rat henchman Hoodwink in the Canadian children's animated television special The Real Story of the Three Little Kittens which was created and produced for The Real Story of... (a.k.a. Favorite Songs) anthology series. It was first broadcast on CTV Television Network in Canada and later on HBO in USA.
To commemorate the millennium, Adams released The Best of Me, his most comprehensive collection of songs at that time, which also included two new songs, the title track "The Best of Me" and the UK number 1 track "Don't Give Up". The album reached the Top 10 in Germany and was certified three times platinum in Canada and Platinum in the UK. The single from the album, "The Best of Me" was a successful hit with the exception of the US, where neither the single or the album were released by Interscope Records.
Adams co-wrote and performed the songs for the DreamWorks animated film, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, in 2002. The songs were included on the film's soundtrack. The most successful single from the soundtrack was "Here I Am", a British Top 5 and German Top 20 hit. The song also gave him his fourth Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Song from a Motion Picture.
In 2004, ARC Weekly released its chart of top pop artists since the last 25 years and Adams came up at number 13 in the chart with four number-one singles, ten top five hits and 17 top ten hits. Six years after the release of On a Day Like Today, Room Service was released in September 2004. It topped the charts in Germany and Switzerland and peaked at number four in the UK, selling 440,000 copies in its first week in Europe and thus debuted at number one on Billboard's European album chart. The single, "Open Road", was the most successful single from the album and peaked at number one in Canada and number twenty-one in the UK. In May 2008, the album was also released in the US but charted only at number 134 on the Billboard 200.
In 2005, Anthology, the first 2-disc compilation was released, containing two new tracks. The US release features a new version of "When You're Gone", a duet with Melanie C. Also in 2005, Adams re-recorded the theme song for the second season of Pamela's Fox sitcom Stacked.
In 2006, Adams co-wrote and performed the theme song "Never Let Go" which was featured in the closing credits of the film The Guardian starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher. Adams also co-wrote the song "Never Gonna Break My Faith" for the film Bobby. The song was performed by the R&B singers Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige and earned him a Golden Globe Nomination in 2007.
Adams released his eleventh album internationally on 17 March 2008. It was appropriately called 11. The album was released in the US exclusively at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club retail stores on 13 May 2008. The first single released from the album was "I Thought I'd Seen Everything". Adams did an 11-day, 11-country European acoustic promotional tour to kick off the release of the album. The album debuted at number one in Canada (making it his first album to reach that position since Waking Up the Neighbours in 1991) as well as reaching number two in Germany. In the United States, the album charted at number 80.
Adams was one of the four musicians who were pictured on the second series of the Canadian Recording Artist Series to be issued by Canada Post stamps on 2 July 2009. The total estimated number of Adams stamps that were printed is one and one-half million. In December 2009, he co-wrote, produced, and performed the song "You've Been a Friend to Me" for the Disney film Old Dogs.
In February 2010, Adams released "One World, One Flame." On 12 February 2010, Adams performed a duet with Nelly Furtado. The song was called "Bang the Drum" and was co-written with Jim Vallance for the opening ceremony for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia. The ceremony was held indoors at BC Place Stadium.
Adams was one of several well-known Canadian musicians to visit Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at his official residence. Originally, the visit was meant to be Adams's plea to the Prime Minister to change copyright laws; instead, Harper turned it into an informal "jam session."
In November 2010, Adams released the acoustic album Bare Bones. It was recorded live at various locations on his "Bare Bones Tour" earlier in the year. It was certified gold in India a year later.
On 19 February 2011, Adams and his band played in Kathmandu, which was organized by ODC Network and made him the first ever international artist to perform in Nepal. He performed at the opening ceremony of the 2011 Cricket World Cup on 17 February 2011 in Dhaka, Bangladesh and also performed in a solo concert in the next day.
In an interview on 18 March 2014, Adams revealed that he has signed a contract with Verve Records in the US. With one album celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Reckless, a new album of covers. On 30 September 2014, Adams released a new album titled Tracks of My Years. The album reached number 1 on the Canadian album chart. The album contains cover songs and one original song co-written with Jim Vallance. On 13 July 2014, Adams presented a live concert on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City, Canada. Adams was moved by the crowd and mentioned: "Quebec City is the Capital of music and artists." In July 2014, Adams filmed Bryan Adams in Concert for the American program Great Performances on PBS. It was recorded at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto and first shown on American Public Television on 2 March 2015.
Adams released his first album of all new material in seven years on 16 October 2015. The album, titled Get Up, was co-written with Jim Vallance and produced by Jeff Lynne. On 7 September 2015, it was announced that Adams would be performing at the 2015 AFL Grand Final, along with English singer Ellie Goulding and American musician Chris Isaak.
On 21 September 2017, Adams announced via social media his release of a new compilation album, Ultimate, with two new songs "Please Stay" and the anti-war themed "Ultimate Love", on 3 November 2017. Bryan Adams performed "the Ultimate tour" during the year 2018. He toured Australia, New Zealand, UK, Europe, the US, and Canada. He also brought the ultimate tour 2018 to India in the month of October 2018, where he performed at Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Delhi.
On 25 June 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Bryan Adams among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. Adams told the Times that he had asked Universal for access to the master tapes for Reckless in 2013 while working on a remastered edition of the album, but had been told that the tapes could not be found. Adams eventually located a safety copy of the album to use on the remaster, and was not made aware of the fire until the Times' initial report on 1 June.
Pretty Woman: The MusicalEdit
Adams approached Disney in 2009 to see if they would be interested in making the 1990 film into Pretty Woman: The Musical for Broadway. But it wasn't until seven years later that he re-approached them and was introduced to producer Paula Wagner who him together with director Jerry Mitchell. Adams recruited Jim Vallance, and the two of them spent the next two years writing the music and lyrics, and completed the songs in March, 2018. The musical made its debut on Broadway in August, 2018, and is in Germany Autumn 2019 and will open in London's West End in 2020.
Activism and humanitarian workEdit
Most of Adams's philanthropic activity is focused on The Bryan Adams Foundation, which aims to advance education and learning opportunities for children and young people worldwide, believing that an education is the best gift that a child can be given. The foundation is mostly funded by Adams himself.
Since the 1980s, Adams has participated in concerts and other activities to help raise money and awareness for a variety of causes. His first high-profile charity appearance came in 1985 when he opened the US transmission of Live Aid from Philadelphia. In June of the next year, Adams participated in the two-week Amnesty International "A Conspiracy of Hope" tour alongside Sting, U2 and Peter Gabriel. In 1986, Adams performed at The Prince's Trust All-Star Rock Concert in Wembley Arena to celebrate first 10 years of the Trust and again in June 1987 at the 5th Annual Prince's Trust Rock Gala along with Elton John, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and others. The following year Adams performed at the Nelson Mandela birthday party concert at Wembley Stadium.
Adams helped commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall when, in 1990, he joined many other guests (including his songwriting partner Michael Kamen) for Roger Waters' massive performance of The Wall in Berlin, Germany. He performed the Pink Floyd songs "What Shall We Do Now?" and "Young Lust" during the performance of The Wall, and then joined Waters, Joni Mitchell, Cyndi Lauper, Van Morrison, Paul Carrack and others to perform Waters' "The Tide Is Turning" to close the concert.
On 29 January 2005, Adams joined the CBC benefit concert in Toronto for victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Twenty years after performing at Live Aid in the US, Adams played at Canada's Live 8 show in Barrie, Ontario. Later that year, he performed in Qatar and raised UK£1.5M (US$2,617,000) from the concert. He also auctioned a white Fender Stratocaster guitar signed by many[quantify] of the world's prominent[according to whom?] guitarists. The guitar raised a total of US$3.7 million for charity and thus set a record as the world's costliest guitar. The money went to Qatar's "Reach Out to Asia" campaign to help the underprivileged across the continent. Money raised also went to some of his own projects like rebuilding a school in Thailand and building a new sports center in Sri Lanka, both of which had been devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami.
On 25 May 2005, Adams raised £1.3M with cousin Johnny Armitage, from a concert and auction entitled Rock by the River for the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. On 15 May 2006, Adams returned to London to attend the Hope Foundation's event (hosted by designer Bella Freud), helping to raise a portion of the £250,000 to support the Palestinian refugee children. The following June, he offered individuals from the public the chance to bid to sing with him live in concert at three different charity auctions in London. Over £50,000 was raised with money going to the NSPCC, Children in Need, and the University College Hospital. On 28 February 2008 he appeared in One Night Live at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with Josh Groban, Sarah McLachlan, Jann Arden and RyanDan in aid of the Sunnybrook Hospital Women and Babies Program.
On 29 January 2006, Adams became the first Western artist to perform in Karachi, Pakistan, after 11 September attacks, in conjunction with a benefit concert by Shehzad Roy to raise money for underprivileged children to go to school. Some of the proceeds of that concert also went to victims of the 2005 Pakistan earthquake.
On 18 October 2007, Adams was billed to perform in Tel Aviv and Jericho as part of the OneVoice Movement concerts, hoping to aid in solving the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The peace concert for supporters of a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel was called off because of security concerns.
On 14 September 2014, Adams was the first artist to sing at the Invictus Games organised by Prince Harry in East London. Prince Harry reciprocated by attending Adams's exhibition on Wounded soldiers in London.
Animal rights activismEdit
During his tours of 1992–1994, Adams successfully campaigned for the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary with Greenpeace Chairman David McTaggart. The two of them distributed over 500,000 postcards at concerts around the world encouraging people to write to politicians of countries blocking the vote, encouraging them to vote "yes" for the creation of the sanctuary at the meetings of the International Whaling Commission. IWC officially created the sanctuary on 26 May 1994.
In April 2019 while off the coast of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Adams physically intervened to protect a whale from being killed when local whalers tried to harpoon it within a conservation zone.
Adams supports the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) by shooting photos for them and writing letters. He wrote to the CEO of KFC restaurants in Canada in November 2007, asking them to become leaders in using more modern and more humane methods of killing chickens.
Adams also works as a photographer. On 16 September 2015, he was given an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in London for his work in photography. Adams has been published in British Vogue, L'uomo Vogue, American Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, British GQ, Esquire, Interview magazine and i-D, and shot advertising and PR campaigns for Hugo Boss, Guess Jeans, Sand, Converse, Montblanc, John Richmond, Fred Perry, Escada, Gaastra, Zeiss, Joop, Zeiss AG, Schwarzkopf, Ermenegildo Zegna, AGL shoes, Windsor, Jaguar and OPEL cars.
He has won three Lead Awards in Germany for his fashion photography, most recently in October 2015 for his story in Helmut Berger, and previously in June 2012 and again in 2006. He founded the art fashion Zoo Magazine, based in Berlin, for which he shoots regularly.
His first retrospective book of photos was released by Steidl in October 2012 titled Exposed. Previous published collaborations include American Women (2005), for Calvin Klein in the United States; proceeds from this book went to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City for their breast cancer research programs, and Made in Canada (1999) for Flare Magazine in Canada; proceeds went to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Both books were dedicated to his friend Donna, who died of the disease.
In 2002, Adams was invited, along with other photographers from the Commonwealth, to photograph Queen Elizabeth II during her Golden Jubilee; one of the photographs from this session was used as a Canadian postage stamp in 2004 and again in 2005 (see Queen Elizabeth II domestic rate stamp (Canada)), another portrait of both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip is now in the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Adams supports the Hear the World initiative as a photographer in its aim to raise global awareness for the topic of hearing and hearing loss. Adams released a photography book entitled Wounded – The Legacy of War (2013) to highlight the human consequences of war.
- Made in Canada (1999)
- American Women (2005)
- Exposed (Steidl, 2012)
- Wounded – The Legacy of War (2013)
- Untitled (2015)
- Canadians (2017)
- Homeless (Steidl, 2019)
- Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, July 2012 (Exposed)
- NRW-Forum, Düsseldorf, Germany. "Bryan Adams – Exposed" February – May 2013
- Westlicht Gallery, Vienna, Austria. "Bryan Adams – Exposed"
- Stadtgalerie, Klagenfurt, Austria, 3 July – 5 October 2014: "Bryan Adams – Exposed"
- Stadthaus Ulm, Germany, June – September 2014
- Fotografiska, Stockholm, Sweden 18 June 2016 – 25 September 2016
- Werkhallen, Bonn, Germany 19 February – 20 May 2017
Bryan Adams has been a vegan for 30 years; he quit eating meat and dairy in 1989. He relayed his experiences with his plant based diet in an interview with Vegan Life Magazine in 2016 :"For those people who aren't veggie or vegan it was the best gift I could ever give myself to do it. I am turning 57 years old this year and I work hard, I am always on the move but I have tons of energy because I am plant-based. It is absolutely the best thing you could ever do for yourself. It is a great path."
Adams has never married. In the 1990s, he was in a relationship with Danish model Cecilie Thomsen. Adams and Alicia Grimaldi, his former personal assistant and now trustee and co-founder of his namesake foundation, had their first daughter, Bunny, in April 2011 and the second daughter, Lula, in February 2013. Aside from his British parents, his grandmother was born in Malta. Adams has homes in London, and Paris.
Awards and honoursEdit
In addition to his success at the Junos and Grammys and other music awards, Adams was also nominated for his fifth Golden Globe in 2007 for songwriting on the film Bobby which was sung by Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige, and has been nominated three times for Academy Awards for writing music in film.
- Bryan Adams (1980)
- You Want It You Got It (1981)
- Cuts Like a Knife (1983)
- Reckless (1984)
- Into the Fire (1987)
- Waking Up the Neighbours (1991)
- 18 til I Die (1996)
- On a Day Like Today (1998)
- Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)
- Room Service (2004)
- 11 (2008)
- Tracks of My Years (2014)
- Get Up (2015)
- Shine a Light (2019)
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The Kingston-born artist's music career...
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