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    home >> caribbean >> caribbean music>> barbados music>>biggie irie


CARIBBEAN - music

Biggie Irie


Biggie IrieBIGGIE IRIE was born in the United Kingdom, and at the tender age of three years old, he moved with his mother to the beautiful Island of Barbados.

BIGGIE IRIE is best known for his molasses rich voice, and his powerful commandeering stage presence. He started his musical career in 1986 as lead vocalist with the young Barbadian reggae band EXODUS.

Since then he has performed and recorded with THE SPLASHBAND, the only other group on the Island, besides Exodus, who dedicated their repertoire solely to reggae music. BIGGIE was one of the founding members of the band in 1990 and stayed with them as their lead vocalist until its dissolution in 1995.

Biggie IrieHe toured extensively with THE SPLASHBAND traveling to Sweden in 1992 and again in 1993, to perform at the Stockholm Water Festival, London, Toronto, New York and performed at REGGAE SUNSPLASH in Jamaica. Biggie has appeared on stage with internationally renowned artist such as Maxi Priest, Buju Banton, Diana King, Beres Hammond, Burning Spear, Luciano, Garnet Silk, Merciless, Byron Lee & The Dragonnaires, Marfil, Beenie Man, Denise Plummer, Singing Sandra, Bankie Banks, Mighty Sparrow and many more.

While with THE SPLASHBAND he wrote and recorded over one hundred (100) songs, some of which, were chart toppers in the Caribbean, U.K and North America. Biggie is also a fantastic song writer, while with the group EXODUS, he penned the song SHINE ON JAMAICA, which was dedicated to the brothers and sisters of Jamaica, who suffered at the devastating hands of hurricane Gilbert. This song was an instant hit in hometown Barbados, and in neighboring islands. He was the principle song writer for THE SPLASHBAND, and his voice can be heard on these albums he recorded with the band: The Game Of Life,
Riddim-A-Ton, X-Amonakamusic, Get Busy and Champion Sound.

In 1995 the internationally recording Barbadian group, SPICE & CO asked him to join them as their lead vocalist. In the two years he was with them he was able once again to enjoy an extensive touring stint with gigs taking him to Trinidad, Jamaica, Antigua, Costa Rica, Martinique and Guyana where he performed for sold out audiences. In April 1998, The ISRAELITES were formed. Their primary function was to back BIGGIE IRIE in his solo career. While still a few months old the group embarked on two tours of the region. The first was to Grenada to perform at the inaugural Spice Jazz Festival and the second, was to Bermuda to headline at the Surf Club nightspot for a two-week stint. They were a sensation, receiving rave reviews in the local media of both countries, and were asked to return for another two-week stint in Bermuda in October of that same year.

In 1999, BIGGIE IRIE AND THE ISRAELITES became a household name in Barbados, and also in the neighboring islands of St Lucia and Dominica, where BIGGIE once again thrilled the hearts of the wonderful people of those Caribbean countries with stellar performances.

 

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Spirit of Unity World Tour

The CD, ”AN INTRODUCTION TO BIGGIE IRIE “ was released in the USA at the beginning of the Spirit of Unity World Tour in August 1999. This album marked his debut as a solo artist in the world of reggae music.

Do you want BIGGIE IRIE? This was the question from the MC at the National Stadium on October 3rd in beautiful Barbados where the Spirit Of Unity World Tour in conjunction with the Barbados Tourism Authority and the National Cultural Foundation climaxed in the true spirit of unity. And the crowd responded favorably, the much-anticipated performance of our homeboy was about to begin. After eight weeks of raving reviews from the American audiences and press, Barbadians were in for a treat, and what a treat indeed as BIGGIE displayed his world-class talent to a very visibly moved home crowd.

The opening of the tour in Los Angeles saw BIGGIE sharing the stage with Third World, Steel Pulse, Ras Shiloh, Joseph Hill of Culture, Maxi Priest, and Monifah, in a reggae all-star band on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. From the onset one could not ignore the dominating yet gentle and soulful presence of BIGGIE IRIE.

The Spirit of Unity World Tour took BIGGIE across the USA, from Los Angeles he moved onto Seattle, then Piercy Ca, where he performed at Reggae on The River. This performance could only be described as “BOOMBASTIC” and after his forty-five-minute set the crowd was begging for more and BIGGIE certainly delivered.
Another memorable performance was at the San Diego Street Scene in California; here BIGGIE had the massive audience eating out of his hands. It was after this performance that his childhood dream came true when the Reggae Ambassadors THIRD WORLD invited him to join them during their set for their big hit Now That We Found Love. This was truly an honor.

However the invitations did not stop there as David Hinds of STEEL PULSE recognizing the wealth of talent requested his presents on stage at the Forest Hills Tennis Center in New York, for a rendition of Rally Round The Flag.
While on tour BIGGIE IRIE caught the attention of major international print and broadcast media representatives such as, Billboard Magazine, Caribbean Billboard Music and TV, Malika Lee Whitney of Pickney Productions and Miami’s entertainment journal, Caribbean Today.

The year 1999 was indeed a great year for BIGGIE, not only did he perform live on stage with STEEL PULSE and THIRD WORLD, but in December he was asked to open for renowned reggae legend ERNIE SMITH, at the Almond Beach Resort in Barbados. This was yet another blessing, and he once again thrilled the Bajan and International audiences.

In 2002 Biggie was invited to Bermuda once again to perform for the summer months May thru’ October with Bermuda’s No. 1 Rockers Tropical Heat, this was indeed a treat for Bermudans and visitors alike who were captivated by his wonderful performances. The year was so successful that he was again invited for the same period in 2003. Biggie is now a fixture on the entertainment calendar in Bermuda and is headlining once again in 2004.

BIGGIE IRIE released the much-anticipated album “Where Is The Love” in March 2003, which has gained much interest from major Record Labels VP Records and Jet Star. The new album has sold well over five thousand units in Bermuda alone. This album is his best release to date and is sure to quench the thirst of his ever-growing Caribbean and worldwide fans. In the wake of all this, BIGGIE IRIE is definitely destined to explode on the world music scene.

For bookings contact:

Geoffrey Cordle,
Bridge Road,
Carrington Village,
St. Michael,
Barbados W.I.
Tel: 246-429-3232
E-mail: biggieirie@hotmail.com



 

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