Junior Kelly: A Reggae Force To Be Reckoned With
Junior Kelly is a major force in the world of reggae music today. From his early life as a youth in Jamaica to becoming one of the most popular reggae artists on on the festival network, Junior Kelly has always fought and preached for social justice, economic equality and freedom for all in and through his songs and performances. They are filled with messages for the betterment of all people.
Junior Kelly was born in 1969 in Jamaica. He saw violence inflicted upon his family when his brother was killed over money. His brother, Sylvester, had become quite a popular DJ before he was murdered. So Junior Kelly decided to take up the reins and keep the music going, but in his own style.
He cut his teeth after this tragedy by playing festivals and cutting singles (his first was “Over Her Body” at the age of 16). He participated in some major gatherings in the 90s, such as Reggae Sun Splash and even went to the United States and made some singles.
Unfortunately, none of these adequately were able to provide for his family at the time and he had to resort to non musician type jobs to feed his family, principally construction. During this time, however, he was not discouraged and kept his music in his heart.
He hit it big in 2000 with the single “Love So Nice”. It first did well in Europe, running around on the reggae and pop charts. Then it hit Jamaica and hit number one. It was so popular that he made a full LP album with the same name as the single. It was well received by both critics and fans and put his name on the reggae map, essentially. He even got praise from Billboard Magazine. They called his work mature and that he would be force to come in the reggae universe. The LP featured such songs as “Hungry Days” and “Sunshine”.
Junior Kelly has fulfilled these expectations, despite a serious car accident in 2001 that nearly cost him his life. In the crash, Junior suffered broken ribs, a cracked pelvis and puncture lung to name a few injuries. It took him the good part of three months to recover, after which he went out and immediately began promoting “Love So Nice”.
In 2003, he released “Smile” which was equally as loved as “Love So Nice”. Not only did he sing on the album, he wrote most of the tracks and produced them as well. Song topics included marijuana, African heritage and just plain old good vibe teaching and dancing. Popular tracks off this album include “Black Am I”, “Take Me There”, and “Sinking Feeling”.
Junior Kelly’s impact on reggae is undisputed as a preacher of social consciousness and justice. His albums are adored by his fans and his future in reggae is bright and full.