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Barrington Levy

About this Artist

In 1976, BARRINGTON LEVY formed a band with his cousin, Everton Dacres, called the Mighty Multitude; the pair released “My Black Girl” in 1977. Levy established his solo career the next year with “A Long Time Since We Don’t Have No Love”; though the single was a failure, the 14-year-old was a popular performer at Jamaican dancehalls. Soon, Levy met Junjo Lawes and Hyman Wright, both record producers, and recorded several singles with the Roots Radics, including “Al Yah We Deh,” “Looking My Love,” “Englishman,” “Wedding Ring Aside,” and “Collie Weed,” all of which became hits and established Levy’s career.

Levy’s next few singles were similarly successful, including “Shine Eye Girl,” “Wicked Intention,” “Jumpy Girl,” “Skylarking” (by Horace Andy), “Disco Music,” “Reggae Music,” “Never Tear My Love Apart,” “Jah,” “You Made Me So Happy,” and “When You’re Young and in Love.” Levy then recorded several duets with Toyan, Jah Thomas, and Trinity, and memorably appeared at Reggae Sunsplash in 1980 and 1981. Though LPs were not terribly important in Jamaica at the time, Levy released three albums before 1980: Bounty Hunter, Shine Eye Gal (United Kingdom), and Englishman, a critically acclaimed record.

By 1980’s Robin Hood, Levy was one of the biggest Jamaican stars, and saw his international fame growing as well, especially in England. Taking a break from albums, Levy then released a series of hit singles, including “Mary Long Tongue,” “In the Dark,” “Too Poor,” “I Have a Problem,” “Even Tide Fire a Disaster,” “I’m Not in Love,” “You Have It,” “Love of Jah,” “Under Mi Sensi,” “Tomorrow Is Another Day,” “Robberman,” “Black Roses,” “My Woman,” and “Money Move.”

Levy returned to LPs with Lifestyle and Money Move, followed by a British hit album called Here I Come; Levy received the Best Vocalist prize at the British Reggae Awards.

The late 1980s saw Levy, now in his 20s, slow down his output, though he continued to perform and record until 1988. In 1993, Levy tried to break in the United States with Barrington, but Levy and his label, MCA Records, did not have a good relationship and he soon left. In the 1990s, Levy continued to release periodic hits in Jamaica, and more rarely in the UK. In 1998, he released Living Dangerously, which included a dynamic collaboration with one of Jamaica's most prolific deejays, Bounty Killer. The release was one of Levy’s most successful singles since the start of the ’90s, and allowed him the opportunity to be identified by members of the younger generation of dancehall patrons.

After the death of Sublime’s Bradley Nowell in 1996, Barrington and the remaining members got together to record several songs and toured. Levy was only involved in a handful of shows, but his contribution to their 1999 release “Right Back,” under the new moniker Long Beach Dub All Stars, was considered the best of the album.

Levy was featured on a 1999 track by the Rascalz titled “Top Of The World,” also featuring K-os. Levy also appeared on two singles by rapper Shyne (notably Shyne’s 2000 debut single, “Bad Boyz”), and on a track for drum ’n’ bass artist Aphrodite’s 2000 album Aftershock. In 2004, he contributed to a track on the album White People by Handsome Boy Modeling School, a project by Prince Paul and Dan the Automator.

(Bio from Wikipedia, as supplied by the artist’s management.)