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millie trailblazer

Posted by Ras_Adam 
millie trailblazer
June 28, 2017 07:18PM
[www.jamaicaobserver.com]

Millie Small: Trailblazer
My Jamaican 55

By Simone Morgan-Lindo
Observer reporter

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 3 Comments
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Millie Small

This is the 16th in our daily series highlighting 55 Jamaicans who broke down barriers and helped put the country on the world stage. Each day, one personality will be featured, culminating Independence Day, August 6.



THIS year, singer Millie Small celebrates more than 50 years of musical history. Her My Boy Lollipop was an international hit in 1964. It was a ska cover of American singer Barbie Gaye's minor hit, My Girl Lollypop .

Small's version went to number two in the United Kingdom and United States and made her an overnight star.

The Clarendon-born singer's song also broke ska big in the UK where it was embraced by working-class white youth called skinheads.

It was the first massive hit by a Jamaican female on both sides of the Atlantic.

Forty-eight years later, My Boy Lollipop was part of the playlist for the 2012 Olympics' opening ceremony. That's some feat, considering the other songs played were The End by The Beatles, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by The Eurythmics, MIA's Paper Planes, and Rolling in The Deep by Adele.

Small's follow-up recordings, Sweet William and Bloodshot Eyes, also charted in the UK, at numbers 30 and 48, respectively.

Millie Small, whose given name is Millicent Dolly May Small, got her musical start by winning the Vere Johns Opportunity Hour talent contest at the Ambassador Theatre in Trench Town at the age of 12.

She relocated to Kingston and shortly after, recorded a duet called Sugar Plum in 1962. This was followed by We Will Meet with Roy Panton for Clement 'Coxson' Dodd's Studio One label.

In 2011, Small was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government for her contribution to the country's music industry.
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