Dancehall artist Spice is making history with her 2022 Grammy nomination. She is the first “hardcore” female dancehall artist to be nominated in the Best Reggae Album category. The nomination was presented for her debut album “10.” Her nomination has also made history as being one of two Best Reggae Album nominations given to women, making 2022 the first time that two women have received nominations in that category.
Spice was born Grace Latoya Hamilton in 1982 in Portmore, Jamaica. She also lived with her grandparents in Finsbury Park in London when she was a child and attended school there before going back to Jamaica. She attended St. Catherine High School and was a frequent participant in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission festival, earning several medals in the music category over time. She enrolled in Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts to study music and drama before beginning her explorations of dancehall and displaying her deejay talents at locally staged shows.
Known as the “Queen of Dancehall,” she has been influential in promoting dancehall throughout the world with her unique sound and strong stage presence. While she gained worldwide recognition for her collaboration with Jamaican artists Sean Paul and Shaggy on the hit single “Go Down Deh!” Spice had already gathered a large fan base during her 20 years as a recording artist prior to its release.
Commenting on her Grammy nomination to Forbes magazine, Spice said she was very happy to receive it because so many people over the years said it would never happen. She feels that she now has a responsibility to make her voice heard and to tell other dancehall artists and Black women that there is hope for change.
In addition to her career in dancehall, Spice is a successful entrepreneur. She told Forbes magazine that she had been an entrepreneur since she was a child. She cited her mother as her role model in business and shared how she watcher her mother buy and sell clothing, run a restaurant, and cook foods at home to earn money to support the family. Spice said her mother showed her how to have multiple income streams. Spice started a franchise clothing line in Jamaica called “Bicycle” that had branches in Montego Bay, Kingston, and Saba Lamarr. She changed the name to “Graci Noir,” however, in reference to her given name “Grace” and the word “graci,” which means “grateful.” She added that “Noir” refers to her advocacy for Black people.
Spice shares her experiences and opinions on a wide range of issues in the Forbes article. She discusses what it was like for her when she left Jamaica and came to the United States to be a part of “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta,” the controversies surrounding her opinions on the negative impacts of colorism, her response to having a song on the personal playlist of former US President Barack Obama, her appreciation for fans from the LGBT community, and the difficulties of balancing motherhood with her international stardom.
Source: Forbes Magazine