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BLACK HISTORY MONTH THROWBACK SPOTLIGHT: Billy Ocean

You’ve heard his name; you’ve loved his songs.  And, whether you were there for the great love songs (“There’ll Be Sad Songs” or “The Colour Of Love”), the silly ones (“Get Outta My Dreams”), or the songs that have us dreaming of beautiful women on the beach (“Caribbean Queen”), Billy Ocean has had the soundtrack for pretty much EVERY moment in life DOWN PAT.

And, he has his parents to thank!

Billy, born “Leslie Sebastian Charles” to Trinidadian-British parents, music was in Billy’s home from a very young age.  His father, Hainsley, was a musician, and his mother, Violet, encouraged his talents he picked up from his father.  By age 10, Billy was beginning to perform, and by 16, he sang in bars and nightclubs.  While his style was originally ONLY of the ballad variety, he branched out, expanded his repertoire, and grew into the star that he is today.

One has to think: the encouragement of Billy’s parents played a HUGE role in his development as a musician.  If all of our parents encouraged us, as Billy’s did, would we ALL have the opportunity to travel the globe singing love songs?  Maybe not… BUT… that encouragement of music education at a young age is SO important.  Props to Hainsley and Violet for their encouragement of Billy.  Let’s make sure all of our youth are being exposed to music like Billy was.  Who knows.  Maybe we’ll have another Caribbean Queen on our hands.

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