Dawn Penn
Dawn Penn

By Kevin Jackson—

MANY artists who recorded hit songs during their 20s and 30s struggle to sell records when they turn 40.

The fans they had in their heyday became adults and their musical tastes changed.

Top: Jimmy Cliff & Ken Boothe

Bottom: Junior Reid & Horace Andy

Next week, Grammy winner Shaggy launches his latest album, Sly & Robbie Presents Shaggy

Out of Many One Music, in New York.

Now 44, Shaggy enjoyed platinum success in the 1990s with the Boombastic album and in 2002 with Hot Shot.

It is rare for Jamaican (and Caribbean)artists to score international hits once they turn 40. Here’s a look at some who have done so.

* In 1986 when he was 43 years old, singer Boris Gardiner topped the British charts with his cover of country singer Mac Davis’ I Want to Wake Up With You.

* Jimmy Cliff was 46 years old in 1994 when his remake of Johnny Nash’s I Can See Clearly Now (from the Cool Runnings soundtrack) topped charts in the United States and made the Top 10 in several European countries.


* No, No, No was a minor hit for Dawn Penn in the 1960s, but it was a 1994 version produced by Steely and Clevie that landed her a deal with Atlantic Records subsidiary Big Beat Records. Penn was in her mid-40s when No, No, No made Billboard and European charts.

* Ken Boothe had a number of hits in the 1960s (Puppet On a String, Moving Away) and topped the British chart with a cover of Bread s Everything I Own in 1975. In 1995, at the age of 47, he scored a Top 21 UK hit with a version of his The Train is Coming featuring Shaggy.

* Horace Andy had a number of hits in the 1970s including Skylarking. In 1998 at the age of 47, he teamed with British band Massive Attack for the Top 40 UK hit, Angel.

* Jamaica-born Carl Douglas is best known for his 1974 international hit, Kung Fu Fighting. In 1998, at age 56, he re-entered the British chart when a new recording of Kung Fu Fighting featuring British dance duo, Bus Stop, reached number eight.

* They were first known as High Voltage when they formed in the mid- 1970s in The Bahamas. In 1991, they changed their name to The Baha Men. With the addition of younger members, the group won a Grammy Award in 2000 for the massive party anthem, Who Let the Dogs Out.

* Junior Reid was 43 years old in 2006 when he teamed with American rapper The Game on the Billboard hit, It’s Okay (One Blood). The song peaked at number 71 on the Hot 100 chart; number 33 on the R&B Hip Hop Singles chart; number nine in Finland; number 41 in Germany and number 16 in Ireland.

Johnny Osbourne
Johnny Osbourne

* Veteran dancehall singer Johnny Osbourne had hit songs in the 1970s (Truth and Rights) and 1980s (Ice Cream Love). He tasted international success early this year at age 64 when he was featured on Major Lazer’s Jah No Partial which made the Billboard Dance chart.

* Sean Paul, now 40, recently celebrated the milestone with a Top 10 UK hit in Other Side of Love.