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Celebrating Tiger: The Roar of Dancehall Music

Today, on June 6, 2024, we honor the birthday of Norman Washington Jackson, better known as Tiger, a legendary figure in the world of dancehall music. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1960, Tiger has left an indelible mark on the genre with his unique growling style and dynamic performances, inspiring generations of artists and fans alike.

Jamaican Dancehall artiste Tiger

From Ranking Tiger to Dancehall Royalty

Tiger's musical journey began in the late 1970s when he first recorded as a singer under the name Ranking Tiger. His debut single, "Why Can't You Leave Dreadlocks Alone?" was released in 1978, marking the start of a prolific career. By the early 1980s, Tiger had transitioned to deejaying, collaborating with the Black Star Sound System alongside fellow deejay Bruk Back and singer Anthony Malvo.

The Tiger Unleashed: Hits, Collaborations, and Genre-Bending

The mid-1980s saw Tiger rise to prominence with local hits like "No Wanga Gut" and "No Puppy Love." His growing popularity led to a contract with Mango Records, which released his first album, Me Name Tiger, in 1986. During this period, Tiger's style, described as "multi-voiced and totally deranged," set him apart in the dancehall scene. He recorded with esteemed producers such as Harry J, King Jammy, Gussie Clarke, Sly & Robbie, Philip "Fatis" Burrell, and Donovan Germain.

Tiger's influence extended beyond Jamaica. In 1989, he became one of the first ragga artists to cross into the US hip-hop scene with his collaboration with the Fat Boys on "T'ings Nah Go So." His success continued into the 1990s, highlighted by his signing with Columbia Records' Chaos imprint, releasing the album Claws of the Cat in 1993.

A Setback, A Return, and A Legacy Secured

However, in January 1994, Tiger's career faced a significant setback when he was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. The injuries he sustained, particularly to his head, were severe, affecting his voice and hindering his ability to perform and record at his previous level. Despite this, Tiger's resilience shone through. By 2003, he had returned to live performances, participating in the Dons of Dancehall UK tour.

Tiger's comeback continued with notable appearances at Reggae Sumfest in 2007 alongside deejay Kiprich, and the "Reewind and Come Again" event in New York in 2010, which featured many dancehall performers from the 1980s and early 1990s.

Tiger's legacy is one of innovation and influence. His powerful performances and unique style have left an indelible mark on dancehall music, earning him a place among the genre's most iconic figures. As we celebrate his birthday, we also celebrate the enduring impact of his contributions to music and his remarkable journey through adversity.


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