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The reigning rude gal, Rihanna turns 27 day, and it’s hard not to reflect on her island styling that we love. Here’s a look at “Caribbean-flavored” music stars who came before the Barbados-born RiRi, and probably influenced her path to pop stardom.
In the early ’90s, Patra was the self-proclaimed “Queen of The Pack.” She was one of hottest stars in hip-hop and dancehall, with her songs all over radio, TV and in the clubs. One could argue that even in addition to talent, her sultry look and lyrics were just as responsible for her success. Similar to Rihanna, Patra had a certain “devil-may-care” sexiness to her that had everyone (especially the guys) paying attention to her. Her hits include “Worker Man,” “Romantic Call,” and the suggestive Grace Jones cover “Pull Up To My Bumper.” Jones is also known for her Jamaican roots.
While Patra’s videos and music were played in the mainstream, Lady Saw made a name for herself in the underground Caribbean music scene. With titles such as “Stab Up De Meat,” Lady Saw faced criticism and was banned in some parts of Jamaica because of her raunchy lyrics. Lady Saw has also collaborated with dancehall legends Beenie Man and Bounty Killer. Lady Saw eventually saw huge success in the U.S. by pairing with rock band No Doubt on the hit “Underneath It All.” The track won “Best Performance by Duo or Group” at the 2004 Grammy Awards.
Like Rihanna, soca star Alison Hinds is Barbados-based. Hinds is one of the most popular soca stars in the world, and often dubbed “Queen of the Soca.” After gaining notoriety by contributing to a remix of fellow Caribbean star Kevin Lyttle’s ‘Turn Me On’, Hinds went on to land a hit of her own with “Roll It Gal,” a song highlighting female independence.
Other notable Caribbean stars include Shelly Thunder, Claudette Peters, and Destra Garcia. If you don’t know them, get familiar!