Real Name: Anthony Keith Blair
Born: March 21st, 1976
Place of Birth: Clarks Town, Trelawny, Jamaica
Official website: www.anthonyb.com
Anthony B. shot to fame in 1996 when his hugely controversial single, "Fire Pon Rome", became one of the biggest hits of the year, in spite of the presence of a blanket radio ban. When he followed its success with further hits, "Raid Di Barn" and "Hurt The Heart", it was clear that a major new dancehall star had been born. The artist, who wisely decided against issuing his records under the name "Tony Blair", had grown up in rural Jamaica, weeding cane-fields as part of a poor family. There he memorized songs from the radio, his greatest influences being Peter Tosh and Bob Marley. A large number of critics, in fact, suggested comparisons with Tosh when Anthony B. broke through in the 90s. He moved to Kingston in his teens at the height of dancehall reggae's popularity, but while appreciating the musical vitality of the scene, he was disappointed by the "slack" lyrics and lack of "positivity". His efforts to launch a solo career temporarily thwarted, he eventually returned to his village. However, his perseverance was rewarded when he came to the attention of producer/writer Richard "Bello" Bell, owner of the Star Trail studio complex and label founded in 1989 in Miami.
The label had moved to Kingston in the early 90s after enjoying commercial success with Beres Hammond and Cutty Ranks, and Anthony B. became their second major project there, following the breakthrough of Everton Blender. He later recorded a successful single, "I'm Gonna Tell You", with the Mystic Revealers, and released the powerful "Nah Vote Again" at the height of the country's national elections. The excellent Seven Seals delivered some fine conscious reggae cuts, including "Conscious Entertainer" and "Mr. Heartless".
Encyclopedia of Popular Music
Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989 - 2005
Source - BBC Music Profiles