Dancehall superstar Clifton George Bailey grew up in Islington, Jamaica, and got the nickname Capleton for his vocal opinions and love of argument (Capleton was the name of a famous local lawyer). That inclination, along with a remarkable musical talent and a ferocious voice, led Capleton to fame in the early 1990s with a string of dancehall singles. Although Capleton’s early work evidenced “slack” themes (lyrics about drinking and sex), his conversion to Rastafarianism imbued his music with a sense of righteousness that, like the music of Buju Banton and Sizzla, helped push dancehall toward reggae’s roots. An association with the American label Def Jam heightened Capleton’s crossover appeal in dance and hip-hop markets.
HOMETOWNIslington, St. Mary, Jamaica
BORNApril 13, 1967