Millie Small set the pace

Pizza Please grab 'n' go boxes now in supermarkets

Grab 'n' go options from Pizza Please are now available at Lee's Food Fair on Red Hills Road and Loshusan Supermarket in Barbican. Read more


Millie Small set the pace

Observer Writer

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

Millie Small, who died Tuesday at age 73 in London, was the first Jamaican artiste to score a hit on the British pop chart. Her version of My Boy Lollipop reached number two in 1964 and was also successful in the United States, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Small had follow-up hits with Sweet William (number 30 in 1964) and Bloodshot Eyes (number 48 in 1965). Her success in the United Kingdom opened doors for many Jamaican artistes in the UK.

Among those making the Top 20 were Prince Buster who reached number 18 with Al Capone in 1967, while Desmond Dekker and The Aces peaked at number 14 with 007 (Shanty Town).

Two years later, the latter rose to number one with Israelites, the first chart-topper for a Jamaican act on the British pop chart.

Jimmy Cliff, a contemporary of Small's, had seven entries on the British national chart. Wonderful World, Beautiful People was his best performer at number six in 1969.

Bob and Marcia's Young, Gifted And Black soared to number five in 1970 with their next song, Pied Piper, hitting number 11 the following year.

Dave Barker and Ansell Collins also went to number one with Double Barrel in 1971 and followed up with Monkey Spanner, which reached number seven in 1973.

Ken Boothe's cover of Bread's Everything I Own was another British chart-topper in 1974. The following year, singer Susan Cadogan's cover of Millie Jackson's Hurt So Good went to number four.

Crooner Barry Biggs had six songs that charted including his cover of Blue Magic's Side Show which peaked at number three in 1976

Althea and Donna hit number one in 1977 with Uptown Top Ranking. Third World had eight entries, the most popular being Now That We've Found Love, a top 10 hit in 1978.

Dennis Brown charted three times, his biggest hit being Money in My Pocket which reached number 12 in 1979.

Sugar Minott rose to number four in 1981 with his cover of The Jacksons' Good Thing Going.

Sophia George's Girlie Girlie hit number seven in 1985, while Audrey Hall took Smile to number four that year. Boris Gardiner topped the chart in 1986 with I Want to Wake Up With You, and followed with You're Everything to Me which stalled at number 11.

Grace Jones, who like Small was signed to Island Records, hit the chart 13 times. Her Pull Up to The Bumper reached number 12 in 1986.

Freddie McGregor registered four entries on the chart, the most successful being Just Don't Want to Be Lonely at number nine in 1987.

Chaka Demus and Pliers scored a record eight top 10 UK hits in the early 1990s. That includes the number one hit Twist and Shout featuring Jack Radics, Tease Me, She Don't Let Nobody, and Murder She Wrote.

Sly and Robbie charted five times. Their biggest hits were Boops (Here to Go) which reached number 12 in 1987 and Night Nurse featuring Simply Red which peaked at number 13 in 1997.

Of his 19 UK hits, Shaggy had four number ones with Boombastic (1995), Oh Carolina (1993), Angel, and It Wasn't Me (2001).

In 2000, Chrissy D and Lady G teamed with the B-15 Project for the number seven hit Girls Like Us. They performed it on the highly rated Top of the Pops television show.

Beenie Man's biggest hits on the chart were Dude (number seven in 2004), Feel it Boy (featuring Janet Jackson, number nine in 2002), and Who Am I (Zim Zimma) which peaked at number 10 in 1998.

Shabba Ranks had 11 songs that charted, his biggest being Mr Lover Man (number three in 1993) and House Call with Maxi Priest, which hit number eight in 1993 also.

Sean Paul has the most entries of any Jamaican artiste an astounding 33. They include thetTop 10 hits Breathe with Blu Cantrell (number one for five weeks in 2003), Like Glue, I'm Still in Love with You featuring Sasha, Get Busy, Baby Boy with Beyonce, and Gimmie the Light.

UK-based Stylo G scored a top 20 hit in 2013 with Sound Bwoy, while Popcaan, who is yet to have a solo UK hit, has been charted with five collaborations. The biggest, Kisses for Breakfast with British/Jamaican singer Melissa Steel, peaked at number 10 in 2014.

OMI spent four weeks at number one in 2015 with Cheerleader.

Bob Marley and The Wailers registered 22 songs on the British National Chart. They included the top 10 hits, Buffalo Soldier, Iron Lion Zion and Could You Be Loved.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon