Shen breaks drought

BY KEVIN JACKSON
Observer writer

SHENSEEA’s début on the Billboard Hot 100 chart makes her the first Jamaican female dancehall artiste to score an entry on the prestigious table in 17 years.

Pure Souls, her collaboration with American rapper Kanye West, and which also features rapper Roddy Ricch, entered the chart at number 52 on Tuesday.

She was pleased with her latest accomplishment.

“I am honestly over-elated! I intended to make the charts, but to say I saw it coming so soon would be far from the truth. I am truly one of God’s favourites to be receiving big blessings in my career in such a short space of time. I’m on a mission to take this worldwide, as I’ve said countless times, and to see it all manifesting makes my heart skip a beat. I’ve been waiting my whole life to experience moments like these,” Shenseea told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Pure Souls is from Kanye West’s 10th studio album titled Donda, which debuted on the all-genre Billboard 200 albums chart on Sunday with 309,000 in album equivalent units.

Shenseea said Pure Souls‘s charting is a definite career boost.

“I’m sure other artistes will now see my potential and be motivated to work with me. Everything else comes after, including my net worth,” she said.

The last Jamaican female dancehall artiste to hit the Billboard Hot 100 was Miss Thing in 2004 when her collaboration Dude with Beenie Man reached number 26.

Prior to Miss Thing, Lady Saw hit the Billboard Hot 100 in 2002 when she teamed with No Doubt on Underneath it All, which peaked at number three.

Underneath it All was later certified gold and won the award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the 46th Grammy Awards.

Before Lady Saw, Patra was the last dancehall act to hit the Hot 100 chart. She did it five times between 1993 and 1996. Her biggest hit, Romantic Call, featuring rapper Yo Yo, topped out at number 55 in 1994. Her last entry was Scent of Attraction featuring R&B singer Aaron Hall, which rose to number 82 in 1996.

There have been several female Jamaican singers who made the coveted table.

Singer Millie Small got the ball rolling with My Boy Lollipop in 1964, which peaked at number two. She followed up with Sweet William later that year which stalled at number 40.

It wasn’t until 26 years later, in 1990, when Marcia Griffiths danced her way to number 51 with Electric Boogie.

Two years later, Chevelle Franklyn teamed with Shabba Ranks on Mr Loverman, which hit number 40. The song, which attained a certified gold status, was featured in the Laurence Fishburne movie Deep Cover.

Franklyn returned in 1997 as a collaborator on Beenie Man’s Dancehall Queen, which strolled to number 90.

Signed to Sony Music-affiliated The Work Group, singer Diana King scored four entries including Shy Guy, her biggest hit. It was certified gold and peaked at 13 in 1995. Her last entry was a remake of Chaka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody, which got as far as number 94 in 1996.

Nadine Sutherland teamed with Terror Fabulous on Action, released by Elektra Records subsidiary label East West. Action made it to number 43 in 1994.

In 2008, singer and actress Cherine Anderson collaborated with singer Michael Franti on the hit Say Hey which hit number 18.

The last Jamaican female singer to hit the Billboard Hot 100 was Tessanne Chin. Between 2013 and 2014 she logged six entries. Her biggest entries Tumbling Down (2013) and a cover of Many Rivers to Cross (2014) both peaked at 32.

Featured Image – Shenseea

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