About Wayne Wonder
In the 2010s, the melodies and rhythms of Jamaican reggae and dancehall became the rocket fuel for some of the biggest artists in American hip-hop, R&B, and pop—and Wayne Wonder deserves a large share of the credit for popularizing these island-inspired fusions. The lead single from the Jamaican singer’s 2003 album No Holding Back, “No Letting Go” helped establish the restless and irresistibly infectious Diwali Riddim as the core component of countless party-starters to come, including Rihanna’s breakthrough “Pon de Replay.” The track also brought international fame to an artist with a long history in his country’s music scene both as a producer and songwriter for stars like Buju Banton and as a charismatic crooner in his own right. Shifting beyond a behind-the-board career that began with a mentorship under the legendary King Tubby, Wonder demonstrated his flair for seductive sweet nothings on early hits like “Bonafide Love,” a 1992 match-up with Banton. After signing to Atlantic and scoring his biggest U.S. success with “No Letting Go,” he’d continue to keep it sultry and smooth on 2007’s Foreva and 2014’s My Way, two albums full of tracks that add a jumpier dancehall energy to his blend of pop balladry, slow-jam R&B, and lovers rock.
HOMETOWNBuff Bay, Portland, Jamaica
BORNJuly 26, 1972