Childhood & Early Life
She was born on August 6, 1982, at the ‘Spanish Town Hospital’ in the St. Catherine parish of southeastern Jamaica. She was raised in the town of Portmore in Jamaica.
Her father passed away when she was 9 years old. She stayed for a few years with her grandparents in the UK. Her grandparents lived in Finsbury Park, London, UK. She completed part of her schooling in the UK before returning to Jamaica.
In Jamaica, she enrolled at the ‘St. Catherine High School.’ As a student of this school, she was a regular participant at the ‘Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’ (JCDC) festival. Over the years, she won many medals at the festival. While in school in Jamaica, she was a choir leader at the local church.
Initially, she wanted to become a chartered accountant. However, she later decided to pursue a career in music. She joined the ‘Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts’ in Kingston, Jamaica. She pursued a course in music and drama at the college.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
She began her music career while she was still in college. She started experimenting with dancehall music and learnt to mix music. She started appearing at DJ events and playing at local shows.
As a singer and DJ, her first major break came at the age of 18, in the year 2000. That year, she got a chance to perform at the annual dancehall music festival named ‘Sting.’
Although she was a new and unknown artist, her performance at ‘Sting’ earned her a lot of appreciation from the audience. She was requested for several encores of her songs by the crowd at the festival.
The crowd’s response to her performance at the ‘Sting Festival’ caught the attention of music industry professionals in Jamaica, because the ‘Sting Festival’ was known for its vocal and blunt crowd. If she managed to catch the attention of the harsh crowd at the ‘Sting Festival,’ it meant she had some special talent.
After her successful debut at the ‘Sting Festival,’ she was managed by Earlton Clarke for the following two years. In 2002, while on a tour in the UK, she was spotted by Jamaican music artist Baby Cham, who introduced her to fellow Jamaican music producer David “Dave” Kelly. She started a successful collaboration with Kelly, releasing a string of singles produced by him for his record label ‘Madhouse Records.’ Her first single for ‘Madhouse Records’ was ‘Complain (Mi Gone).’ Her subsequent singles for the label were based on the “Bad Gal riddim” style of instrumentals. Two of such successful songs were ‘Right There’ (featuring Toi) and ‘Hype.’
In 2004, she collaborated with Jamaican music legend Jimmy Cliff. She was featured in the song ‘I Want I Do I Get’ from Cliff’s album ‘Black Magic.’ In 2006, she featured in Jamaican reggae artist Beenie Man’s song ‘Hot’ from his album ‘Concept of Life.’
2008 was a big year for her, as she attained notoriety for her collaborative single ‘Romping Shop,’ with Jamaican dancehall artist Vybz Kartel. The song was her first major hit and her most controversial track, as it was banned by the ‘Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation’ for its explicit content. The song reached number 76 on the ‘Billboard US R&B’ charts and was also featured on the ‘Billboard’ list of the top ‘Reggaeton Choruses of the 21st century.’ It was also a favorite with US-based FM radio stations, which played it at regular intervals on their networks.
In 2009, she signed a multi-album deal with ‘VP Records.’ Her non-album single ‘Slim Vs Fluffy,’ featuring Pamputtae, peaked at number one on the Canadian reggae charts. In 2010, she released her single ‘Jim Screechie.’
In 2011, she collaborated with Gappy Ranks for the song ‘Whatever We Like,’ which was released as a bonus track in Gappy’s album ‘Thanks and Praise.’ The same year, she released a remix version of her song ‘Fun,’ featuring Missy Elliot.
In late 2013, she released her single ‘So Mi Like It.’ The song gained tremendous popularity worldwide. A remixed version of the song, featuring rapper Busta Rhymes, was included in his mixtape ‘Catastrophic 2.’
In 2014, she made her debut as a movie actor in the film ‘Destiny,’ which was released on April 2, 2014. She also lent her voice to the song ‘No Push Over’ for the film’s soundtrack. In November 2014, she released her debut extended play (EP), ‘So Mi Like It,’ named after her hit song of the previous year. The album featured five songs. ‘Conjugal Visit,’ one of the songs from the EP, was a collaborative effort between her and Vybz Kartel. Its music video garnered two million “views” in a day after being released on the video blog ‘WorldStarHipHop.’ She was featured in the song ‘Jolly’ by American rapper ASAP Ferg, along with soca artist Bunji Garlin, from the mixtape ‘Ferg Forever.’
In May 2015, she released the single ‘Needle Eye.’ It was a tribute to the 1987 single of the same title by fellow Jamaican dancehall musician Shabba Ranks. In May 2016, she collaborated with American rapper Kid Ink for his single ‘Nasty.’
In April 2017, she released her single ‘Sheet’ and announced her upcoming debut album. In June 2017, she collaborated with DJ Jax Jones for the single ‘You Don’t Know Me.’ In August 2017, she was featured in DJ Charlie Sloth’s track ‘I Can Do’ from his album ‘The Plug.’ In 2018, she joined the cast of the seventh season of the ‘VH1’ reality TV show ‘Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.’
Other Business Ventures
In 2009, she opened her boutique chain, ‘Spicey Couture,’ in Kingston, Jamaica, which now has branches in many other locations in Jamaica. In 2010, she opened a sports lounge and bar in her hometown of Portmore in Jamaica. She has also opened a beauty salon named ‘Spicey Salon’ in Kingston, Jamaica.
She signed an endorsement deal with Italian winemaker ‘Sperone Moscato’ in 2017. In 2018, she established the ‘Grace Hamilton Women Empowerment Foundation’ (GHWEF) in Jamaica.