To date, 20 female artistes from Jamaica have recorded entries on the British pop charts since its inception in 1952.
The trend continued last Friday with dancehall artiste Shenseea making her debut on the UK Singles chart as a featured act on Scottish producer Calvin Harris’s Obsessed, which also features singer Charlie Puth. The song opened at 71.
Obsessed is a single from the multi-platinum-selling Harris’s latest album Fun Wav Bounces Vol 2, which debuted at five on the UK Albums chart.
Millie Small was the first Jamaican female artiste to score an entry on the British charts, when, in 1964 her cover of Barbie Gaye’s My Boy Lollipop peaked at number two. She scored two other entries, Sweet William (30) and Bloodshot Eyes (48).
Six years later, as one half of the duo Bob and Marcia, Marcia Griffiths rode the charts with a cover of Nina Simone’s Young, Gifted and Black, which shot to number five. Pied Piper topped out at 11 in 1971.
In 1974 Kingston-reared singer Susan Cadogan rose to number four with her interpretation of Hurt So Good. Her follow-up single, Love Me Baby, stalled at 25 the following year.
Singer, model, and actress Grace Jones has scored the most entries on the British charts. To date, she has recorded 13 entries, including Private Life (number 17 in 1979), Pull Up to the Bumper (number 53 in 1981), and Nipple to the Bottle (number 50 in 1982).
Female duo Althea and Donna’s Uptown Top Ranking went to number one in January 1978, while a year later singer Sheila Hylton’s updating of Breakfast in Bed laid its roots at number 57. Hylton’s take on The Bed’s too Big without You not only topped the JBC Radio One chart, but it went as far as 35 in the UK chart.
Penthouse recording artiste Audrey Hall, sister to singer Pam Hall, had a brief run on the UK chart. Her Donovan Germain-produced One Dance (Just Won’t Do) hit number 20 in 1985, but Smile fared better, making it to number 14 in 1986. The Best Thing for Me also hit the charts, topping out at 93.
Girlie Girlie did it for singer Sophia George, rising to number seven in 1985, earning Sophia a performance on the highly rated Top of the Pops television show.
Lady Saw was featured on four chart entries. Bossman with Beenie Man and Sean Paul got to number 78 in 2003, while Since I Met You Lady with UB40 (number 40 in 2001), Bump and Grind (I’m Feeling Hot Tonight) by M-Dubs, which sampled Lady Saw’s No Long Talking, hit number 59 in 2000. Underneath it All with No Doubt climbed to number 18 in 2002.
In 2000, the B-15 Project’s Girls Like Us, featuring singer Crissy D and deejay Lady G, reached number seven, while Diana King charted three titles: Shy Guy (number two in 1995), Ain’t Nobody (number 13 in 1995), and I Say a Little Prayer (number 17 in 1997).
Patra scored with Worker Man in 1994, taking it to number 84, but she fared better with her take on Grace Jones’ Pull Up to the Bumper climbed to 50. In 1996, she scored a number 75 hit as a featured act on Work Mi Body by Monkey Mafia.
Thanks to her collaboration on Beenie Man’s Dude, Miss Thing scored a silver-certified hit, which peaked at number seven in 2004, while Sasha collaborated with Sean Paul on a remake of I’m Still in Love with You that got as far as six in January 2004.
Former Brick and Lace singer Nyal stepped out big with Major Lazer and Fuse ODG on the Light it Up (remix). The platinum-certified single reached seven in 2015.
In 2010 Ce’Cile teamed with British producer DJ Fresh on Gold Dust, which peaked at 24. The single was certified 2x platinum last year.
Spice along with Tory Lanez were featured on Krept and Konan’s 2019 hit First Time that stalled at 63, while Koffee has to date registered three entries, namely Toast (number 70 in 2018), W featuring Gunna (number 82 in 2019), and Repeat with J Hus (number 21 in 2020).