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Papa San Biography

Papa San is a former reggae/dancehall artist turned gospel singer, from Jamaica but based in Weston, Florida, USA.

Having had his first smash while still just a teenager in the mid-80s, Papa San's phenomenal, ongoing reign on international music charts earned him the nickname Marathon Man, as it was not uncommon for him to simultaneously hold down several positions in the Top 10 at any given time, as well as to long runs at No.1 that still no reggae or Dancehall artist to date has surpassed.

In 1994 he filled dance floors around the world with The Programme, which also hit the top of the Billboard dance chart. Smash hits like I Will Survive, Legal Rights, Strange and Maddy Maddy Cry, among many others, brought Papa San a huge audience in all the Caribbean Islands and around the world in Japan, Europe, Africa, the U.S. and more throughout the 80s and 90s. In fact, before giving his life to the Lord and being baptized in the faith in 1997, Papa San was a popular figure in American rap circles, being credited as a pioneer by a host of rap superstars.

Later connecting with fans of American hip-hop, Papa San landed numerous videos in heavy rotation on MTV. More recently, he has made guest appearances and shared stages with Gospel Titans, the likes of Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Trin-t-ee 5:7, Donnie McClurkin, Hezekiah Walker, and BeBe & CeCe Winans.

Raised in Spanish Town, just outside of Jamaica's capital, Kingston, Papa San grew up in an environment where hard work and grinding poverty was the daily norm but fervent revelry ruled the weekends. Spearheaded by any neighborhood resident with charisma and a potent enough sound system, music, dancing and singing prevailed well into the wee hours of Friday and Saturday nights as the sounds of reggae blasted from P.A.s loud enough to be heard and felt for many city blocks. Papa Sans own father manned such a sound system every week dubbed Black Universe and his naturally gifted son soaked up the music like the Caribbean sun. The strains of reggae greats like Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, and John Holt were interspersed with a wide range of American pop and rock music, from venerable crooner Nat King Cole to disco diva Donna Summer, all adding additional color to young Papa Sans musical palette. By the age of only 12, he had already begun performing with artists more than twice his age, cultivating his prodigious gifts with words and music, with acclaim beyond his young imagination only a few years away. Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.

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