Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henriques, better known by the shorter version of his name Sean Paul, is a Jamaican reggae artist and dancehall who rose to fame with his Grammy award winning album ‘Dutty Rock’. Born into a family of athletes, sports were his first love. He was a talented swimmer and athlete who had represented his country’s national water polo team as a youngster. He was academically very gifted and attended some of the best educational institutes in his country and earned a degree in hotel management. He was also a music lover from childhood and soon his desire to create music overpowered his athletic and academic aspirations. He began rapping at local bars and clubs where his talent got him noticed by the producer Jeremy Harding who later became his manager. Soon he released his debut album ‘Stage One’ which peaked at No. 2 on the Top Reggae Albums chart. His second album, ‘Dutty Rock’ was an even bigger success and established him as a rising reggae superstar. Till date the rhyme singer has sold over 10 million copies of his albums worldwide and has spawned several No. 1 hits. However, he remains down-to-earth and modest about his success, a feature that endears him further to the millions of his fans.
Childhood & Early Life
He is the son of Garth and Frances, both of whom were accomplished athletes; his mother is also a famous painter. He comes from a multi-ethnical family and was raised Catholic.
Many members of his extended family are swimmers and Sean himself being one. As a teenager he also used to play for the national water polo team.
He was a good student and had the fortune of attending several well-established educational institutes. He went to the Wolmers High School for Boys before going to the Hillel Academy High School.
After school, he enrolled at the Jamaica’s College of Arts, Science, and Technology from where he earned a degree in hotel management.
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A music lover from an early age, he chose to pursue a career in music despite his brilliant academic and athletic records. He began rapping at local parties and bars where he got noticed by the producer Jeremy Harding who was impressed with the youngster’s talent.
Harding became Sean’s manager once the singer began getting more popular. He released his debut album ‘Stage One’ in 2000 which was well-received by the audiences.
His second album ‘Dutty Rock’ was out in 2002. It featured the singles ‘Gimme the Light’ and ‘Get Busy’ which also topped the Billboard Hot 100. The same year he contributed vocals to Beyonce’s single ‘Baby Boy’.
In 2005 he released his third album, ‘The Trinity’ which peaked at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Top Reggae Albums. The album featured the songs ‘We Be Burnin’, “Ever Blazin’, and ‘Temperature’, all of which were big hits. The video of ‘Give It Up to Me’ also appeared in the movie ‘Step Up’ in 2006.
He performed at the opening of the Cricket World Cup 2007 in Jamaica and made an appearance on the game Def Jam: Fight for NY and the game’s sequel Def Jam: Icon.
His 2009 album ‘Imperial Blaze’ was very popular not just in Jamaica, but also on the international front. It reached No.1 in Japan and was certified gold in France where it debuted at No.8. It was among the Top Ten Albums in other countries like United Arab and Canada as well.
He released his first ever mix tape, ‘The Odyssey Mixtape’ in 2009. It contained the tracks ‘Odyssey Intro’, ‘Buy You A Round’, and ‘We Party’. It was entirely self-produced by him and featured performances by Snoop Dog, Kanye West and Lil Wayne.
His album ‘Tomahawk Technique’ released in 2012. This too topped the Japanese Albums chart and peaked at No.2 on the US Billboard Top Reggae Albums. His latest album ‘Full Frequency’ released on 18th February, 2014.
His album ‘Dutty Rock’ was the one that launched his career and popularized him as a reggae star. The album produced two No. 1 singles and became an international phenomenon with worldwide sales of over 6 million copies.
The album ‘The Trinity’ features the smash hit ‘Temperature’ and reached the top ten position in several countries including Italy, Canada, France and Austria. The album was accredited platinum in Europe.
Awards & Achievements
In 2004 he won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album for ‘Dutty Rock’. He also has several Grammy nominations to his credit.
He won the International Reggae and World Music Awards for the Entertainer of the year in 2004.
Personal Life & Legacy
He married his longtime girlfriend Jodi Stewart, a television personality in 2012.
He is the most successful Jamaican artist of all time on the U.S. charts.
This famous reggae singer played himself in the movie ‘Belly’.