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  • Writer's pictureRomaine Brown

International impact: The King of Dancehall, Beenie Man turns 50

He infused elements of dancehall into mainstream music, being one of the most prominent ambassadors of Jamaican music throughout history and his contribution is undeniable. Salute to a real legend


Salute A Legent (Ace Pxl)


Dancehall living legend Beenie Man turns 50 today; born on August 22, 1973. Born Moses Anthony Davis from the Waterhouse community of Kingston, he is regarded as one of the pioneers and ambassadors of Dancehall music. He has made significant contributions to the genre, both through his music and his influence on other artistes.


The King of Dancehall as he is popularly called, started music at the tender age of 10 years old with a debut album ‘The Invincible’. He rose to fame in the 90s, aiding dancehall music’s rise to international prominence. Beenie was one of the dancehall frontrunners as he delivered numerous chart-topping hits, including: 'Who Am I', 'Girls Dem Sugar', 'Dude', and 'King of the Dancehall'.


The King of dancehall on his chair (Jamar Cleary)


Beenie Man's impact on the global music scene goes beyond just dancehall. He appeared as himself in the 1997 local film, Dancehall Queen and have since collaborated with artiste heavyweights; Wyclef Jean, TI, Lil Kim and Janet Jackson, showcasing his lyrical ability and bridging musical gaps to attract diverse audiences.


His collaboration with Janet Jackson on the hit song, "Feel It Boy" was a testament to his crossover appeal and ability to seamlessly infuse elements of dancehall into mainstream music. The track was widely praised and showcased Beenie Man's ability to create infectious hooks and catchy melodies that transcend the boundaries of language and culture.


Beenie Man during his 'Simma' album launch (Ace Pxl)


He has released 18 studio albums so far including; 'Cool Cool Rider', 'Maestro', 'Many Moods of Moses', solidifying his status as a dancehall superstar.


His love-hate relationship with dancehall legend Bounty Killer was also a big part of his career. A rivalry forged back at the Sting night of 1993, and spread over many years until its most publicized end in 2013 with the release of a single called 'Legendary' that documented the moment in a historical fashion. In 2020, the two legends shared the American globally known Instagram live lyrical clash on the Verzuz platform culminated by super international producers Swiss Beatz and Timbaland; a clash that went on to set the standards that the platform is now based on. Both artistes channeled all that energy into producing great records — many of which were played in the heat of the Verzuz battle.


Beenie Man & Bounty Killer, love-hate relationship (Jamar Cleary)


As he enters his sixth decade of life, his contribution to the local and global arena as a dancehall ambassador is unimaginable and he is currently back on the island from his recent exploits overseas to put the final touches on the release of his 19th studio album titled 'Simma' on August 31.

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