moved to England with his parents at the age of eight, from Fyzabad, Trinidad. He was born to Grenadian parents. He sang in London clubs throughout his teen years. His first single was released in 1972 on the Sparks record label as Les Charles. In 1976 he adopted the name Billy Ocean and recorded his debut album, Billy Ocean. His first single was Love Really Hurts Without You and it hit the charts as number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and also number 22 in the U. S. Billboard Hot 100. More of his hits followed and he also wrote songs for other artists. One of those he wrote for was LaToya Jackson. Some of his many hits were Nights, Carribean Queen (also known as African Queen and European Queen), When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Gets Going, There’ll Be Sad Songs To Make You Cry, Get Outta’ My Dreams, and many more. Billy had a way of mixing the soul style music with the pop vibe and the public loved it. He was honored with an award from the University of Westminster in 2002. The award was for an honorary doctorate of music.
Billy continues to tour and record in Europe and lives in Wickford, Essex with his wife of 39 years. He and Imelda have nine children. The children are Christopher, Alex, Joseph, James, Paul, Gavin, Samuel, Polandn, and Cruzby. Wonder if any of them will follow in dad’s footsteps? That is enough kids to have their own band and then some. Billy also holds clinics and seminars for students in the Tech Music Schools in London on a regular basis. Billy’s last studio album for jive music was Time to Move On and it was recorded in Chicago with the star R. Kelly, a R&B star.
Billy’s song When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Gets Going was the theme song for the movie The Jewel of the Nile. It was also a number one hit in the U. K. And number 2 in the United States. His hit There’ll Be Sad Songs To Make You Cry was also a number one hit in the United States and a big hit also in the U. K. His album Tear Down these Walls in 1988 had a spinoff hit single Get Outta’ My Dreams, Get Into My Car. His album Greatest Hits Collection in 1989 has been a great seller for many years.
Billy Ocean has made his mark in the music industry and his unique way of singing will forever be embedded in some people’s memories. He was a big part of the pop and classic rock and roll era and the baby boomers will remember him for a long time.
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