Billy Ocean is a well-known Grammy award winning musician. He was born to Grenadian parents in January, 1950, in Trinidad and Tobago. He was named Leslie Sebastian Charles but assumed the name Billy Ocean later on in life when he started to perform. He has sold over 30 million records in his lifetime, making him one of Britain’s biggest musical sensations. Most of his musical releases have gone either Gold or Platinum.
Ocean’s father, who was a musician, nurtured Billy's musical talents from a young age. From the age of seven he was raised in London, England, and during his teenage years, he performed at clubs and other vejues. Ocean released his first single in 1972 under the name Les Charles, and he moved onto the name Billy Ocean in 1976 with an album of the same name.
The ten years between 1976 and 1988 proved to be some of the busiest in Ocean’s musical career. He recorded a number of albums and singles, and wrote several songs for other artists as well. 1984 proved to be a great year for Ocean, bringing about the release of the album Suddenly and with it, the popular single “Caribbean Queen”. In 1988, he recorded the album Tear Down These Walls, which featured the song “Get Outta My Dreams, and Into My Car”, which is arguably one of his best-known songs, even now. Tear Down These Walls was certified platinum and the song became a number one single.
His later career brought him to record with R. Kelly, who had been a long-time admirer of his. In 2002, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of music by the University of Westminster in London. He currently holds seminars for students of Tech Music Schools in London, and has been touring in UK as recently as 2007, and he released an album following that in 2009. He released a “best of” album in 2010, featuring his biggest hits.
At the MOBO awards in 2010, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for his many outstanding accomplishments in the music industry. In 2011, he became a Companion of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, having been awarded the title by Sir Paul McCartney. He is a highly accomplished performer who is still going strong many years after his initial career began. K.M. Cooper. (TCC)