By now, word has got about that Carlene Davis, international recording artist, will be performing at the Lions Centre on Feb. 10. What people may not know, however, is that the talented singer and musician has lived an extraordinary life, blazing trails for female performers.
Davis’s music has touched the hearts of many, and she has been around since the 1970s, becoming successful in the early 1980s. She also survived cancer in the mid-1990s, which is when she decided to dedicate her life to gospel music.
She is described as the first successful female solo reggae performer, and her star has been rising ever since.
Carlene Davis was born in Colonels Ridge, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica. She moved to England at the age of 14, and started her professional career in performing a year later. She was an excellent guitar player and played in an all–girl band before moving on to the pop trio Toreadores.
She then emigrated to Toronto, Canada, where she lived for eight years and became a reggae singer. It was there that she recorded her debut single, her version of “Leaving on a Jet Plane.”
Davis furthered her career in 1980 when she returned to Jamaica. She performed in a Reggae Sunsplash festival and had many hits in Jamaica, such as “It Must Be Love,” “Going Down to Paradise,” “Dial My Number” and “Like Old Friends Do.” She was named Best Female Vocalist in the Caribbean Music Awards in 1990 before touring as a part of the Reggae Sunsplash World Peace Tour a year later.
In 1996, Davis was diagnosed with breast cancer, which turned into a serious spiritual wake-up call for her. As a survivor of the disease, she decided to return to recording gospel music (she had stopped in 1990). She released the album “Vessel” in 1998 and released her single, which became a hit in a variety of different Caribbean countries, “This Island Needs Jesus.”
A couple of years later she was named a minister of music for The Family Church on the Rock in Kingston. By the mid-2000s, Davis had her personal recording studio, owned Judah Recording and the Glory Music products record label that she ran with her husband Tommy Cowan.
Davis donated 25 percent of the royalties from the album “Dripping Blood” to U.S.-based charity Samaritan’s Purse and its fight against Ebola.
Proceeds from the event in Cayman will further the charitable work that the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens does locally, a press release states.
Gates will open at 7 p.m. and show will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 pre-sold, $30 at the gate, and $75 for VIP. They are available at Funky Tangs, Western Union at Foster’s Food Fair Airport Road, Reflections outlets and from any member of the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens.