Billy Ocean is the biggest black recording star Britain has ever produced, one who has sold over 30 million records in his lifetime to date.
He has collected a pile of Gold and Platinum records across the world and hit the number one spot worldwide in the pop charts including the USA, Australia, Germany, Holland, and the UK. Billy has achieved extraordinary success as both an artist and a songwriter.
Born in Trinidad, Billy settled in London’s East End when just seven years old. The calypso crazy kid soon got turned on to soul singers like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, as well as pop groups like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, leading him to spend much of his study time in the music room.
Billy got his first break when he signed to GTO records, for whom his second single was the Motown-ish Love Really Hurts Without You, which reached No. 2 in the UK charts and No. 12 in the US.
Two top twenty singles followed; Love on Delivery and Stop Me, then Red Light Spells Danger became a smash in both the UK and the US. Billy changed record labels and his move to Jive Records provided instant success, with the million selling American number one single Caribbean Queen (for which Billy won a Grammy for best R&B Vocal), followed by Loverboy, and Suddenly, which became the first of Billy’s killer ballads. The Album from which these singles came from spent a year in the US Charts selling double platinum (triple in Canada). Billy also performed on the American half of Live Aid, making 1985 a truly incredible year for him.
1986 wasn’t bad either, opening with When the Going gets Tough (the tough gets going), the theme song to the Michael Douglas/Kathleen Turner/Danny Devito movie Jewel of the Nile. Billy then launched the Love Zone album, which went straight to No. 2 in the UK charts, staying in the top 40 for six months. In the US, there was a No. 1 single with There’ll be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry). More Hits were to follow with the now classic Get Outta My Dreams; Get Into My Car, giving Billy yet another US No. 1 hit.