Lady Saw Biography

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Marion Hall, 18 September 1972, St. Mary’s, Jamaica, West Indies. Lady Saw began chatting on the microphone at the age of 15. Being located some distance from the recording studios, she served an apprenticeship on local sound systems before appearing on vinyl. Inspired by the popularity of the slackness style, she performed lewd songs, which earned her a reputation as an X-rated DJ. Her earliest tunes, ‘Stab Out The Meat’ and ‘Just Anuddah Day’, reinforced her bad girl image which she eloquently defended on the controversial television documentary Yardies. In 1994, her shows were banned in certain Jamaican parishes, to which she responded with ‘Freedom Of Speech’. She complained that many male performers had performed slack lyrics without having to endure the censorship to which she was exposed. Her grievance faltered when she performed ‘Peanut Punch Mek Man Shit Up Gal Bed’ on her video The Legend Returns with Lady G, Shamara, Michelle and Lo Lo. In spite of the controversies, she maintained a high musical profile with the hits ‘Me Naw Lock Mi Mouth’, ‘Lonely Without You’ and the popular ‘Good Wuk’. Other releases followed, including the celebratory ‘Glory Be To God’ and ‘Ask God For A Miracle’. She enjoyed a big hit in 1995 with ‘Hardcore’, while with King Jammy’s son John John, her rendition of ‘Welding Torch’ left little doubt as to the subject matter. The controversy surrounding the AIDS virus resulted in Buju Banton’s recording of ‘Don’t Be Silly (Put A Rubber On Your Willy)’. The tune and a television report inspired Lady Saw to advise girls of the dangers of unprotected sex with her recording of ‘Condom’.

By the autumn of 1995, the continued drive towards conscientious lyrics found Lady Saw being drawn into the roots and culture style, though her audiences demanded to see the more notorious raunchy performances. In 1996, she enjoyed hits with ‘Give Me A Reason’ and ‘Husband A Mine’. The same year, Give Me The Reason was released and included ‘Condom’ and ‘Saturday Night At The Movies’ in combination with Brian And Tony Gold. 1997’s Passion featured collaborations with Shaggy and Beenie Man, but was eclipsed by the ensuing 99 Ways which confirmed Lady Saw’s position as the First Lady of Dancehall. In 2002, she contributed a guest vocal to No Doubt’s pop hit ‘Underneath It All’. Her new studio album, Strip Tease, was released in September 2004.


Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.


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