Barrington Levy

One of the great success stories of the '80s, Barrington Levy, arrived on the dancehall scene and swiftly remodeled it in his own image. Although numerous DJs and vocalists would rise and fall during this decade, Levy was one of the few with staying power, and he continued releasing massive hits well into the '90s. Born in 1964 in Clarendon, Jamaica, as a youngster, Barrington Levy formed the Mighty Multitude with his cousin Everton Dacres. They started off playing the sound systems and cut their first single, "My Black Girl," in 1977. All of 14, Levy broke out on his own the next year and recorded his debut solo single, "A Long Time Since We Don't Have No Love." It didn't have much of an impact, however the teen's appearances in the dancehalls were eagerly awaited events. It was at one of these that Levy met former singer turned producer Junjo Lawes and New York-based producer Hyman "Jah Life" Wright. The pair took the youth into Channel One studio, accompanied by the Roots Radics, and recorded a clutch of cuts. The first fruits of this union were "Ah Yah We Deh," quickly followed by "Looking My Love," "Englishman," and "Wedding Ring Aside." Success was immediate, but it was the mighty "Collie Weed" that really cemented the teen's hold of dancehall. "Shine Eye Girl" was a smash follow-up, and the young Levy was now in great demand. A stream of singles followed, "Wicked Intention," "Jumpy Girl," a lovely version of Horace Andy's "Skylarking," the humorous "Disco Music," "Reggae Music," and "Wicked Intention" included. Levy joined forces with producer Alvin Ranglin for another sting of hits -- "Never Tear My Love Apart," "Jah," "You Made Me So Happy," and "When You're Young and in Love."