On January 8th, 1973, Jamaican Grammy-winning dancehall and reggae artist and record producer, Sean Paul was born in Kingston. Jamaica.
Born Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henrique, the artist has seen most of his albums receive Grammy nominations in the Best Reggae Album category; Dutty Rock won that award in 2004. Paul’s hit singles Get Busy and Temperance were chart-toppers in the United States. He has also been featured on other hit singles, including the chart-topping Baby Boy by Beyonce, What about Us by The Saturdays, and Rockaby by Clean Bandit.
Paul’s mother Frances is of English and Chinese-Jamaican descent and is a painter. His paternal grandfather came to Jamaica from Portugal; his paternal grandmother was Afro-Caribbean. His grandfather was a member of the first Jamaican men’s national water polo team, and his father was also a member of the team in the 1960s; His father swam competitively in long-distance events, and his mother was a butterfly swimmer. Paul himself played for the national water polo team between the ages of 13 and 21. He gave up the sport to follow his music career. Paul attended Wolmer’s Boys’ School and the College of Arts, Sciences and Technology, now the University of Technology.
He was discovered by producer and manager Jeremy Harding who heard about him from his brother after seeing Paul at an open mike event in Kingston. Paul was compared to dancehall deejay and toaster Super Cat, and Harding met him when he came to the studio to ask for advice. Paul recorded a vocal over Harding’s rhythm track during the meeting, creating the song Baby Girl. Afterward, Paul hung out at the studio daily and collaborate with Harding on other tracks. The duo recorded Infiltrate and moved to get airplay on the radio. As Paul began to attract a following Harding became his manager. In 1998, Paul had a cameo role in the film Belly. A successful collaboration with DMX and Mr. Vegas on Top Shooter in the film’s soundtrack. In 2000, Paul’s debut album Stage One was released with VP Records.
Since then he has toured extensively and collaborated with numerous other artists. His career received a commercial boost in 2016 after being featured on three of the top hit singles by Australian singer Sia, the band Little Mix, and the classical cross-over group Clean Bandit. In February 2016, he pean Bandit. In February 2016, he performed at the opening ceremony of the Pakistan Super League. Sia released a remix of her sone Cheap Thrills that featured Paul and it became an international hit that reached the top of the charts in 18 countries.
Paul married his longtime partner Jodi Stewart in 2012. She is a Jamaica television host. In 2017, the couple had a son, Levi Blaze.
Photo source: Sean Paul Facebook