Jamaican singer Millie Small honored by London borough

Millie Small, thought to be Jamaica’s first worldwide chart-topper, was honored with a blue plaque outdoors her Shepherd’s Bush dwelling in London final month.

The plaque was unveiled by the Nubian Jak Group Belief and Millie’s daughter, Jaelee Small. It was unveiled to a big crowd, together with representatives from native London report labels, Trojan and Island Information at a latest ceremony whereas reggae singer, Winston Francis carried out.

Millie Small, who spent the final twenty years of her life residing in Shepherd’s Bush died at age 72 of a stroke in 2020. She shot to worldwide stardom together with her 1964 single “My Boy Lollipop”, which bought 7 million copies, making her the world’s most profitable feminine Caribbean singer of her time.

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Her breakthrough single was additionally credited with ushering within the new style of ska and reggae into the favored music scene. In unveiling the plaque, H&F Cupboard Member for Public Realm, Councillor Sharon Holder paid tribute to Small for leaving such an enduring legacy.

“We’re delighted to put in a heritage plaque recognizing Millie Small’s presence within the borough and her contribution to widespread music. That is a part of our wider program to diversify the general public realm by visibly celebrating the borough’s Black heritage, historical past, and music all yr spherical,” she stated.

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Earlier than Marley, there was Millie

Dr. Jak Beula, CEO of the Nubian Jak Group Belief, stated: “Earlier than there was Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals, Desmond Dekker, or Bob Marley, there was Millie Small.

“She paved the way in which! She gave Island Information their first worldwide hit, and it’s an honor and a privilege to memorialize her together with her first blue plaque.”

Millie Small daughter
Jaelee Small unveils her mom’s plaque. Photograph: https://www.lbhf.gov.uk

For her half, daughter Jaelee stated, “It’s an incredible honor for my mom to be acknowledged with a blue plaque. Thanks to everybody who helped make this occur.”

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Born Millicent Dolly Might Small in 1947 in Clarendon, Small knew she wished to be a singer and started pursuing her profession from an early age.

On the age of 12, she gained a singing contest in Montego Bay, main her to group up with reggae singer Roy Panton to kind the duo Roy & Millie.

She later moved to Kingston as a teen and efficiently auditioned for legendary Studio One report producer, Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd, earlier than her musical abilities caught the eye of Island Information founder, Chris Blackwell.

Blackwell heard considered one of Small’s native hits and began to work together with her, taking her to the UK in 1963 after founding Island Information. It was Blackwell’s thought for her to cowl the American rhythm and blues track, “My Boy Lollipop”, initially carried out by Barbie Gaye in 1957, and it went on to turn out to be an enormous hit.

The track reached quantity two within the charts in each the UK and US in 1964, and have become Jamaica’s first million-selling single, in response to the Nationwide Library of Jamaica.

In August 2011, Small obtained the Commander medal within the Order of Distinction, for her contribution to the Jamaican music trade. The award was accepted on her behalf by former Prime Minister Edward Seaga.

Learn: ‘My Boy Lollipop’ Singer Millie Small Dies at 73

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