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Shinehead Marks 40th Anniversary of The Classic "Billie Jean" Debut

Shinehead's reggae cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," alongside other vibrant tracks on the iconic riddim, propelled him to global recognition

Veteran singer, Shinehead

Shinehead celebrates the 40th anniversary of his debut record "Billie Jean," marking a significant milestone in his career. Originally released on the African Love label, the classic recording propelled Shinehead to international fame, showcasing his diverse musical talents and innovative approach to reggae and dancehall.

As Shinehead celebrates the 40th anniversary of "Billie Jean," he is eager to share the rich history behind the song and the riddim during the year-long celebration. "To be blessed with a record, which has played a pivotal role in Reggae and Dancehall music and culture for 40 years is a milestone to me," said Shinehead gratefully.

"Billie Jean" became an instant favorite among fans and sound boys alike, showcasing Shinehead's raw yet beautiful voice and his ability to infuse the classic Michael Jackson cover with his own unique style. The accompanying riddim perfectly complemented Shinehead's musicality, with its minimalistic yet infectious beats that combined elements of Jamaican dancehall and New York hip-hop.

Born in England and raised in Jamaica and the Bronx, Shinehead (Given Name Edmund Carl Aiken) honed his skills performing live with renowned sound systems like Tony Screw’s Downbeat the Ruler and African Love. His dynamic performances, blending rapid-fire deejaying, pop ballads, hip-hop, and even whistling, captivated audiences and set the stage for his groundbreaking debut.

The success of "Billie Jean" paved the way for Shinehead's debut album "Rough & Rugged," which further solidified his place in the music industry and led to a groundbreaking record deal with Elektra Records. As Shinehead reflects on the 40th anniversary of "Billie Jean," he also looks forward to future projects, including a Rocksteady album and live performances, showcasing his enduring impact on reggae music.

"If ever there was a riddim built for an artist – Billie Jean was built for Shinehead," concluded music journalist Jeremy Freeman for


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