Tuesday, 18 May 2010 16:12
Billy Ocean, the biggest black recording star Britain has ever produced, is coming to Castlebar's TF Royal Theatre on Friday, May 28.
Throughout his career, Billy has sold over 30 million records, collecting a pile of gold and platinum records across the world and hitting the number one spot worldwide on pop charts from the USA and Australia to Germany, Holland and the UK.
Born in Trinidad, Billy settled in London's East End when he was 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.
He 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 number two in the UK charts and number 12 in the US.
Two top 20 singles followed, 'Love on Delivery' and 'Stop Me', and then 'Red Light Spells Danger' became a smash in both the UK and the US.
Billy changed 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 Billy's killer ballads.
The album from which these singles came from spent a year in the US charts, selling double platinum (triple in Canada). Billy also performed on the American half of Live Aid, making 1985 a truly incredible year for him.
The next year wasn't bad either. It started with the single '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.
Billy then launched the Love Zone album, which went straight to number in the UK charts and stayed in the top 40 for six months. In the US there was a number single with 'There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)'.
More hits followed and Billy also proved himself to be one of the most hardworking artists on the live stage, touring the world to ever-enthusiastic audiences.
After huge worldwide success and with a young family at home, Billy decided to take a break to spend some well-earned time with them.
But in 2007, with the children all grown up, Billy went back out to perform his hits again, this time with his daughter Cherie on backing vocals.
The tour, which featured live dates in the UK and Europe, USA, Canada and the Caribbean, proved a great success and culminated in his getting the bug once more for writing and recording.
Two years ago Billy went back into the studio for the first time in 15 years, recording the album Because I Love You, which was released in 2009.
Tickets for his TF Royal Theatre show are available from €33.50 to €38.50 on www.ticketmaster.ie as well as from the Royal box office on 0818 300 000. For further information, please check the Royal Theatre and Event Centre website on www.theroyal.ie or see www.ticketmaster.ie.