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Spotlight on Glen Washington
By Miss Mention, Dainty Crew
(more articles from this author)
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Glen Washington was born in southern central Jamaica in Clarendon, in the county of Middlesex. He grew up and went to school in May Pen. He moved to Spanish Town, then onto Jamaica's capital, Kingston, before relocating to Ocho Rios.

From the age of seven he began to sing and by the time he was 12, he was performing on stage. Glen was inspired by American music, which he listened to on the radio. His early influences came from Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, The Manhattans and Bobby Womack. Later down the line, Luther Vandross inspired him. On the Jamaican level he listened to the Heptones, Leroy Sibbles, Ken Booth and says, "Coming up I listened to people like Freddie McGregor, Beres Hammond."

Glen's first recording was in 1973 and his first big hit, "Rockers No Crackers," was released in 1979 for Joe Gibbs Records in Kingston, Jamaica. Although "Rockers No Crackers" did well, he didn't really get the big break he was hoping for until many years later in 1996.

The first song that became a number one for Glen was "Don't Take My Kindness for Weakness." Then "Jah Glory" followed in a similar vein and hit the top spot.

Like many Jamaican artists, Glen completed a stint singing live on sound systems as he was growing up. He's currently working with the producer Lloyd Campbell at Joe Frazier Records. In the past, he has worked with Fanatic Records, Heavy Beat Records and he started out with the Godfather of Reggae, Clement Dodd Coxsone at Studio One.

While playing in Ocho Rios in a band called Happiness Unlimited, the band happened to meet some people that worked for Stevie Wonder. This led to Glen moving to America, on the basis that Stevie Wonder would record the band. Unfortunately the deal fell through and some of the band stayed in LA and Glen moved to Detroit.

Glen then concentrated on his family life and got married and started raising children and left the business for five years.

Glen has channeled his singing efforts on Reggae all the way through his career with the exception of one R'n'B-enthused track entitled "Stormy Weather," which came out on the UK label, Stingray. He writes all his own lyrics and he has voiced a handful of covers, "Consider Me," "Hey Girl," "If Loving You Is Wrong," and "Breaking Up."

Glen has collaborated with Capleton and he has released "I'm A Witness" with George Nooks.

Glen says that he doesn't pigeonhole himself into singing for just one set of people. As he put it, "I just sing for people." This is reflected when he is approached by fans from a young as five years old up to 55, 65 and older. He makes a conscious effort to keep his music as clean as possible and he stays far from derogatory lyrics.

He has won Tamika Awards three years in a row for "Best Come Back Artist" and "Album of the Year," twice. He got a New York FM Award and received three awards in Florida, two for "Album of the Year" and one for "Best New Artist."

If Glen wouldn't have decided to pursue singing he thinks he would be still involved in music, but maybe as a drummer or a keyboard player. If you want to hear why feel he made the best decision, then you can book him by contacting May Pen Music Promotions on Tel: (954) 931 9770, Fax: (954) 746 8557 or via email.

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