Joseph Saddler, best known by his stage name, Grandmaster Flash, is a hip-hop recording artist and DJ. He was born in Bridgetown, Barbados and grew up in the Bronx in New York City after his family migrated to the United States. Flash attended a vocational high school and learned how to repair electronic equipment.
He had a deep interest in music from a very young age. Growing up, he was fascinated by his father's record collection. His interest in music and education in electronics led him into the New York City DJ scene. He studied the styles and techniques of earlier DJs and developed and mastered new techniques that are standards in the DJ field today.
In the mid 1970s, he formed a group, eventually known as Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. The group pioneered MCing and freestyle battles. Their most notable hit was the rap song "The Message" in 1982. In it's first year of archival, the Library of Congress chose the song to be added to the National Recording Registry.
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were the first hip-hop/rap group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. He also earned an "I Am Hip Hop Icon" award at the 2006 BET award ceremony and a lifetime achievement award at the 2009 Urban Music Awards. In 2011, he was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five single "The Message."
Today, Flash is the owner of a clothing line, "G.Phyre." In 2008, he released his memoir, The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash: My Life, My Beats.