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Millie Small, ‘My Boy Lollipop’ singer, dies aged 73

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Jamaican singer Millie Small has died at the age of 73 after suffering a stroke.

The star was most famous for her hit single My Boy Lollipop, which reached number two in both the US and the UK in 1964.

It remains one of the biggest-selling ska songs of all time, with more than seven million sales.

Island Records founder Chris Blackwell announced her death and remembered her as “a sweet person… really special”.

It was Blackwell who brought Small to London in 1963 and produced her version of My Boy Lollipop, showcasing her childlike, high-pitched vocals.

“I would say she’s the person who took ska international because it was her first hit record,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

“It became a hit pretty much everywhere in the world. I went with her around the world because each of the territories wanted her to turn up and do TV shows and such, and it was just incredible how she handled it.

“She was such a sweet person, really a sweet person. Very funny, great sense of humour. She was really special,” said Blackwell.

Born Millicent Small in Clarendon, south Jamaica, she was one of seven brothers and five sisters, raised on the sugar plantation where her father was an overseer.

At the age of 12, she won a talent contest at the Palladium Theatre in Montego Bay; and by her teens, she was recording for Sir Coxone Dodd’s Studio One label in Kingston.

There, she teamed up with reggae singer Roy Panton, and they became one of the island’s most prolific duos, scoring a major hit with We’ll meet .

Blackwell took an interest in the singer after releasing some of those records in the UK on his fledgling record label, Island, and brought her to London in 1963.

Small was enrolled at the Italia Conti Stage School for speech training and dancing lessons; and she toured the UK before cutting My Boy Lollipop with a group of London session musicians (Small claimed Rod Stewart played the harmonica solo, but he has denied being present at the recording).

Released in February 1964, it made her an international star, and helped popularise ska music around the world.

“It is the ska equivalent of Elvis’ Heartbreak Hotel or the Sex Pistols’ God Save The Queen – the disc that popularised a sound previously considered to be on the margins of mainstream consciousness,” wrote music historian Laurence Cane-Honeysett in Record collector magazine.

However, Small was unable to replicate the success of My Boy Lollipop, scoring only one further hit, a soundalike called Sweet William, later the same year.

But she continued to tour and record, and appeared frequently on 1960s pop shows like Juke Box Jury and Ready Steady Go.

“My life seemed very normal to me – even though I was only 17, I took fame in its stride,” she told the express in 2016.

After leaving Island in 1970, she recorded for legendary reggae label Trojan Records, where her first single was a cover of Nick Drake’s Mayfair.

However, it was the b-side that attracted greater attention. Called Enoch Power, it was a defiant response to Enoch Powell’s inflammatory, anti-immigration “Rivers of Blood” speech.

Small’s lyrics, which captured the mood of the UK’s Caribbean population, received a rapturous response when she played the song at the Caribbean Music Festival at Wembley Arena, a month after its release.

Soon after that single, and the accompanying album Time Will Tell, Small stepped away from music, saying “it was the end of the dream and it felt like the right time”.

In later years, she lived in Singapore and New Zealand before returning to London, where she concentrated on writing, painting and raising her daughter.

When My Boy Lollipop was re-released in 1987 to mark Island Records’ 25th anniversary, the singer gave a rare interview to Thames TV, where she revealed she had, at one point, been penniless and sleeping rough in London.

However, she took the hard times in good grace, explaining: “That’s all experience. It was great. I didn’t worry because I knew what I was doing.

“I saw how the other half live. It’s something I chose to do.”

In 2011, Jamaica’s Governor-General made Small a Commander in the Order of Distinction for her contribution to the Jamaican music industry.

The singer is survived by her daughter, Joan, who is also a musician based in London.

Tributes were led by actor Vas Blackwood, who said Small “lit the fuse for Jamaican ska music”.

SOURCE: BBC

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Social audio platform Stationhead launches new web interface, a first for live social audio

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Live social audio platform Stationhead is now accessible via its new web interface, making it the first entry in the social audio space to allow users to broadcast their own streaming audio shows—fully integrated with streaming music—directly from the web without using an iOS or Android app. In the wake of the new web interface launch, host engagement has increased by 50%.
Stationhead’s new web platform provides users with the ability to integrate premium recording hardware, giving professional creators even more options. With over 3.5 million active users and 20k+ active hosts spending an average of more than two hours on-platform per day, Stationhead continues to expand and improve its capabilities for all users.
“Stationhead has exploded in popularity this year. Our exponential organic growth is a testament that radio needed to be reinvented for the world we’re living in today,” Ryan Star, CEO and co-founder of Stationhead, tells Billboard. He goes on to explain about the new web interface, “As we continue to grow, it is critical to give our users even more ways to stay connected with each other and for our hosts to be able to take it to the next level.”
Stationhead continues to see extensive adoption by top tier artists since its launch, with Cardi B, Camila Cabello, Megan Thee Stallion, Brandi Carlile and Raekwon all making live appearances on shows. Coldplay is now using Stationhead as their primary radio outlet, featuring broadcasts from members of the band, and Ed Sheeran and Halsey have also held listening parties via Stationhead while The Maine and Vanessa Carlton have established their own artist stations on the platform. Most recently, Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak joined guest host D-Nice for a listening party debuting their new record as the superduo
Silk Sonic.
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2022 Grammy Awards rescheduled to April 3 in Las Vegas

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The 64th annual Grammy Awards have a new air date. (more…)

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Actors, Keith Powers and Ryan Destiny split after dating for 4 years

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Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers are calling it quits. (more…)

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T.I. says no one can outrap him

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T.I. is laying claim to the throne. (more…)

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Did insurance agency owner, Stephen Ira Adams lie about Ghanaian scamming him?

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Stephen Ira Adams, who owns an insurance agency in central Louisiana, has gone viral since a feature on his unlikely relationship with a young Ghana was broadcast on CBS Mornings.

According to him, in 2016, he got a call that unexpectedly moved him. He heard a pain that he knew all too well. “Something in that young man’s voice, I felt like I could hear him through the phone that he was a broken person,” Adams told “CBS Mornings” lead national correspondent David Begnaud.

The man on the other end was at a call center in Ghana, Africa. He asked Adams to purchase a gift card.

“I said to him, ‘What you’re doing right now is a scam. You know, you are targeting elderly Americans and it’s not right,'” Adams said. “And I said, ‘When you get off, call me.'”

The man called him back. “He did not ever ask me for any money ever again. Nope, he did not. He asked me for mosquito nets, malaria drugs, educational things,” Adams said.

That man was Prince Anderson, who is from a small village in Ghana. As the oldest son in the family, he took on the duty of caring for his sick mother and supporting his younger brother through school after his father died.

It’s now been five years since Adams and Anderson first spoke and they still keep in touch via FaceTime.

“The kind of love he showed me, the things he sends me, the money, and the care and love with my mom and everything — the love he showed me, it’s overwhelming,” Anderson said.

Adams, a 41-year-old father of two boys, said he sees himself as a father figure to 25-year-old Anderson.

“I told him to quit that call center, and he never went back because he found out what it was about,” Adams said. “Some of the people working there, I found out, don’t even know what’s going on. His next job after he quit that call center, he was washing windows at the airport.”

But it seems there is a different account to the story that has gone viral, and Stephen Ira Adams may be on to something deceitful.

After we shared the video from CBSMornings on Instagram, an account under the name “Bossc_hairman” commented on the post denying Adams’ story. The account went ahead to post the conversations that ensued between Prince and Adams via social media in 2016.

According to the screenshots, Prince reached out to Adams after seeing details of him on the website of Northwestern State University. There was no phone call to scam Adams as he suggested in the interview.

 

 

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Rapper Vic Mensa arrested for carrying a stash of mushroom on his return to US from Ghana

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According to a TMZ report, rapper Vic Mensa’s return to the United States is not going well because U.S. Customs Agents have arrested him for allegedly returning with a stash of mushrooms. (more…)

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