By Jamaica Observer,
Heads High , the 1998 anti-oral sex anthem by Mr Vegas, has been certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry for sales of more than 200,000 copies. The certification was released in February.
Produced by Danny Browne, Heads High was first released by Main Street Records before licensed to British label Greensleeves Records. It spent several weeks at number one on Jamaican charts.
“I am humbled and grateful for this milestone. The accomplishment is surreal for someone who has never dreamed of this kind of success,” Vegas told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
Heads High also scored on the British pop chart, peaking at number 16 in November 1999. It reached number 69 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Chart and number 59 on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay.
According to Mr Vegas, whose given name is Clifford Smith, Heads High, which remains his biggest hit, has sold more than 500,000 copies worldwide.
He explained the concept behind the song.
“The idea for Heads High was birthed from an event my nieces witnessed at their school with a female and a male student. After seizing my attention with their anecdote, I informed them on the importance of keeping their heads high. Somehow, the words ‘heads high’ rang and I started singing, ‘Heads high, kill dem wid di no…,’ ” he recalled.
The song was recorded at Main Street studio, then one of the hottest camps in dancehall.
“I was very surprised at the song’s international success. The song went into both the British and the US Billboard charts. Heads High has transformed my life significantly. I toured a lot, made a lot of money so I could take care of my family and I won the MOBO [Music of Black Origin] Award for Best Reggae Act in 1999. Its success really opened a lot of doors for me,” said Vegas, who emerged in 1997 when he recorded Nike Air (Hand Inna Di Air) on producer Jeremy Harding’s Playground rhythm.
Among his other hits are Jacket, I am Blessed, Bruk it Dung and Hot Wuk . He also charted on Billboard with Pull Up.
His latest singles include Last Christmas and Dancehall Hallelujah.
Main photo: Mr Vegas