On November 30, 1981, David Constantine Brooks, better known as the dancehall artist Mavado, was born and raised in the Cassava Piece community in Kingston, Jamaica. The deejay, songwriter, and singer is also known as Gully Gaad. He was influenced by the music of Bounty Killer, and when he was 15, Bounty Killer became his mentor, introducing him to the workings of the music industry and connecting him to his manager, Julian Jones-Griffith, the sancehall business legend. Griffith went on to manage Mavado’s career as well.
Brooks took his stage name of “Mavado” from the Swiss watch company Movado. His manager changed the spelling of the artist’s name. His first single was entitled “Real McKoy,” which was released in 2004. After breaking through with this first single, he followed up with “Wish Dem a Do,” recorded on the Red Bull & Guinness riddim. After numerous hits during 2005 and 2006, Mavado released the album “Gangsta for Life: The Symphony of David Brooks” in 2007.Two of the songs on the album, which was released on the VB Records label, “Weh Dem A Do” and “Dying”, received heavy airplay in the United States and internationally on R&B hip-hop radio
Mavado experienced some controversy in 2007 when he was unlawfully detained by police in Jamaica and claimed he was thrown through a glass window and injuring three of his fingers as a result. The police said the singer escaped from custody, although they allowed him to walk out of the police station to be treated at a local hospital. Mavado was arrested later on and charged with shooting with intent and illegal firearm possession. The charges were ultimately dropped, however. He had another run-in with the law in 2012 when he was convicted of assault an destruction of property in regard to a driving incident; he was fined $100,000 in this incident.
In 2008, Mavado received the United Kingdom’s MOBO Award for Best Reggae Act. He starred as a gangster in a video by Drake “Find Your Love” in 2010. Mavado has collaborated with many artists, including Busta Rhymes, Wyclef, Ludacris, Birdman, Fabolous, Ace Hood, Akon, 50 Cent’s G-Unit, Snoop Dogg, and Jay-Z. He formed his own record label “Mansion Records” in 2011. Also in 2011, he signed with KJ Khaled’s label “We the Best Music Group.”
Mavado’s song “Progress” was featured in DJ Khaled’s “Major Key” album in 2016. The album received a nomination at the 2017 Grammys in the Best Rap Album category. In 2017, Mavado joined with Alkaline and Jahrmiel to form the group MVP, which became a very popular group in Jamaica. He collaborated with Sean Paul in 2018 on an inspirational song “I’m Sanctify./”
Mavado married Monique McKenzie in a secret ceremony in 2012 in the United States. They have two children, Vuitton and Daisy. He also has three children from previous relationships.
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