Under The Bridge, Fulham
21 July 2012
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Billy Ocean is the biggest black recording star Britain has ever
produced, one who has sold over 30 million records in his lifetime.
He has collected a pile of Gold and Platinum records across the
world and hit the number one spot worldwide on pop charts including
the USA, Australia, Germany, Holland, and the UK. Ocean has achieved
extraordinary success as both an artist and a songwriter.
Born in Trinidad, Ocean settled in London’s East End when
just seven years old. The calypso crazy kid soon got turned on to
soul singers like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, as well as pop groups
like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, leading him to spend much
of his study time in the music room.
Ocean got his first break when he signed to GTO records, for whom
his second single was the Motown-ish “Love Really Hurts Without
You,” which reached No. 2 in the UK charts and No. 12 in the
Two top twenty singles followed; “Love on Delivery”
and “Stop Me,” then “Red Light Spells Danger”
became a smash in both the UK and the US.
Ocean changed record labels and his move to Jive Records provided
instant success, with the million selling American number one single
“Caribbean Queen” (for which he won a Grammy for best
R&B Vocal), followed by “Loverboy,” and “Suddenly,”
which became the first of Ocean’s killer ballads. The album
from which these singles came from spent a year in the US Charts
selling double platinum (triple in Canada). Ocean also performed
on the American half of Live Aid, making 1985 a truly incredible
year for him.
1986 wasn’t bad either; opening with “When the Going
gets Tough (the tough get going),” the theme song to the Michael
Douglas/Kathleen Turner/Danny Devito movie Jewel of the Nile. Ocean
then launched the “Love Zone” album, which went straight
to No. 2 in the UK charts, staying in the top 40 for six months.
In the US, there was a No. 1 single with “There’ll be
Sad Songs (to make you cry).”
More Hits were to follow with the now classic “Get Outta
my Dreams; Get into my Car,” giving Ocean yet another US No.
More hits followed as Ocean also proved himself to be one of the
most hardworking artists on the live stage, touring the world to
ever growing enthusiastic audiences.
After huge worldwide success and with a young family at home,
Ocean decided to take a break to spend some well earned time with
them. In 2007, with the kids all grown up, Ocean went back out to
perform his hits again, this time with his daughter Cherie on backing
vocals, with live dates in the UK and Europe, USA, Canada, and the
Caribbean. The tour was a great success and culminated in him getting
the bug once more for writing and recording. 2008 saw Ocean back
in the studio for the first time in 15 years, recording his brand
new album “Because I Love You.”