Billy Ocean is a legendary singer and songwriter who has been active in the music industry since the 1970s. He is best known for his hit songs such as “Caribbean Queen”, “Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car”, and “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going”. In this blog post, we will explore his career, achievements, and legacy.
Billy Ocean was born Leslie Sebastian Charles in Trinidad and Tobago on January 21, 1950. He moved to London with his family when he was 10 years old and grew up listening to soul, pop, and reggae music. He started singing in local clubs and bars as a teenager and adopted the stage name Billy Ocean, inspired by the Ocean Estate where he lived.
He released his first single, “Love Really Hurts Without You”, in 1976 and it reached number two on the UK Singles Chart and number 22 on the US Billboard Hot 100. He followed it with several other singles that were moderately successful in the UK and Europe, but he struggled to break into the US market. He also faced difficulties with his record label, which did not promote him well and tried to control his artistic direction.
In 1984, he signed a new deal with Jive Records and released his fifth album, Suddenly, which was a breakthrough for him. The album featured the smash hit “Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)”, which won him a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and topped the charts in several countries. The album also included the ballad “Suddenly”, which became a wedding staple, and the upbeat “Loverboy”, which was featured in the movie The Jewel of the Nile.
Billy Ocean continued his success with his sixth album, Love Zone, in 1986, which contained two number one hits: “There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)” and “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going”, which was the theme song for the movie The Jewel of the Nile. He also collaborated with Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito on the music video for the latter song, which was a huge hit on MTV.
His seventh album, Tear Down These Walls, in 1988, spawned another number one hit: “Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car”, which was featured in the movie License to Drive. He also scored a top ten hit with “The Colour of Love”, a soulful ballad that showcased his vocal range.
Billy Ocean took a break from recording in the early 1990s to focus on his family and his faith. He returned to music in 1993 with the album Time to Move On, which was well received by critics but did not sell as well as his previous albums. He continued to release albums sporadically throughout the 1990s and 2000s, experimenting with different styles and genres.
In 2010, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of music by the University of Westminster in recognition of his contribution to the music industry. He also received an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) from Queen Elizabeth II in 2011 for his services to music. He continues to tour and perform around the world, delighting fans with his timeless classics and new songs.
Billy Ocean is one of the most successful British artists of all time, with over 30 million records sold worldwide. He has influenced many singers and musicians across genres and generations with his distinctive voice and catchy tunes. He is a true icon of pop and R&B music and a living legend.