Millie Small

Jamaican teenager Millie Small stunned the music business by reaching number two in both the U.S. and the U.K. with "My Boy Lollipop" in 1964. Born Millicent Small in Clarendon, she was the daughter of an overseer on a sugar plantation (her reported date of birth varies from 1942 to 1948), and she was one of the very few female singers in the early ska era in Clarendon. She was already recording in her teens for Sir Coxone Dodd's Studio One label with Roy Panton (as Roy & Millie), with a hit behind her in that capacity ("We'll Meet"), when Chris Blackwell discovered her and brought her to England in late 1963. Her fourth recording, "My Boy Lollipop," cut in London by a group of session musicians that included guitarist Ernest Ranglin (and, according to some accounts, Rod Stewart on harmonica) and featuring her childlike, extremely high-pitched vocals, was the first (and indeed, one of the few) international ska hits. It remains one of the biggest-selling reggae or ska discs of all time with more than seven million sales.

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