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Lady Saw : biography

12 July 1968 -

Lady Saw (born Marion Hall,Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0242-9, p. 162-3 12 July 1968) is a Jamaican reggae singer, known as the Queen of Dancehall and has been said by some to be the female Bob Marley.


Hall was born in Galina, Saint Mary, Jamaica on 12 July 1968 and began performing with local sound systems at the age of fifteen. She went on to work with the Stereo One system in Kingston.Jackson, Kevin (2012) "", Jamaica Observer, 18 May 2012, retrieved 2012-06-01 Her performances brought her to the attention of record producers and she recorded her first single for producer Piper, and "Love Me or Lef Me", produced by Olive Shaw received significant airplay. She had her first hit with "If Him Lef" and she topped the Jamaican charts with "Good Man".

She soon became known for her slack style, with songs such as "Stab Up De Meat". Her performances were banned in some parts of Jamaica, though equally lewd male performances were not. This prompted her to record "Freedom of Speech" in protest. She enjoyed a big hit in Jamaica with "Hardcore" in 1985, and followed it with "Welding Torch." She also recorded "Condom," warning girls of the dangers of unprotected heterosexual sex. She recorded duets with several other major stars, including Beenie Man, Luciano, Dennis Brown, Bounty Killer and Beres Hammond.

By the mid-1990s she had moved towards "conscious" lyrics. In 1999 she had a major hit in the United States with "Smile", recorded with Vitamin C, which peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100, also a major hit in New Zealand and Canada, and certified gold with over 500,000 sales. In 2002, her collaboration with No Doubt, "Underneath It All", which reached number three in the US and sold more than three million copies, reaching triple platinum certification. The track won a Grammy Award for 'Best Performance by a Duo or Group'.

She is the first female deejay to win a Grammy Award and to be certified as a triple-platinum artist."", Jamaica Gleaner, 25 February 2011, retrieved 2011-03-29 She is also the first woman to headline dancehall shows outside her native Jamaica. She launched her own record label, Divas Records, in January 2010.

Lady Saw was featured along with Nicki Minaj on rapper Trina's song "Dang A Lang" from her 2010 album Amazin'.

In November 2012 she announced that she was turning her back on dancehall and would be concentrating on Gospel music in future.Johnson, Richard (2012) "", Jamaica Observer, 23 November 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2012


Performing in Kingston in 2007

  • Lady Saw received a gold certification from the R.I.A.A. for "Smile" with Vitamin C.
  • Lady Saw received a triple-platinum certification from the R.I.A.A. for "Underneath It All", her 2003 collaboration with No Doubt.
  • In 2002, Lady Saw earned a Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Duo or Group for her featured performance on No Doubt's single "Underneath It All".



  • 1994: Lover Girl
  • 1996: Give Me The Reason
  • 1997: Passion
  • 1998: Raw, the Best of Lady Saw
  • 1998: 99 Ways
  • 2004: Strip Tease
  • 2007: Walk Out
  • 2010: My Way
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