Biography: D’Angel aka Michelle Downer
Michelle Downer, born and raised in Spanish Town and is now known to the world as D’Angel. She maintains a constant presence on the dancehall scene both locally and internationally for the past few years now.
Hailing from St. Catherine High School, a businesswoman, an artiste and now a mother, D’ Angel is the epitome of a true Caribbean woman, focused on fulfilling her life’s dream of becoming one of the top dancehall artistes on the world stage. D’Angel continues to break down barriers and is a role model to numerous young women. She’s resiliently confident, a very hard worker and most of all she continues to be in demand.
Those close to D’Angel from childhood knew that she was destined to be on stage because at an early age her friends and family would often served as her audience while she practiced her vocals while entertaining them. Eventually she was performing at school parties, concerts and even in class. However, like most life journeys there is sometimes a detour and this was the case for D’Angel’s musical journey.
She drifted from her musical pursuits and entered the world of glitz, glamour and couture when she took on a modeling career in the early 90s. Strutting runways and landing alluring photo shoots for brands such as Rocawear only prepared her for the bigger spotlight that she would later receive in the music fraternity. The promising A-List lifestyle and popularity were not enough, though to keep D’Angel away from Jamaica and in 2002 she returned home and immediately capitalized on her entrepreneurial skills by opening her unisex fashion boutique ‘Angel’s’.
D’Angel felt like something vital was missing from her life despite her modeling career and a fashion boutique ‘in the bag’; it was her ultimate love and dream for Music. She began to pursue her musical career by writing songs and doing studio sessions and her first solo effort was released in 2004, titled ’Hottie Girls’ which was produced by Kevin Blake. Subsequently followed by her break-out single ‘Downtown Girl…Livin Uptown’ in 2005, which danced its way to number one on several local charts under the banner of her label Champagne International Records.
In 2006, D’Angel dominated local and international media with her celebrity marriage to Dancehall Mogul Beenie Man and both collaborated on the hit single: One Man, which could be heard on all local radio stations, car stereos and dancehall sessions. She released several singles including; Woman Power that petitioned the strength of a woman and implored society to give women the respect and opportunities that they deserve. D’Angel then teamed up with dancehall lyricist Vybz Kartel on Baby Father, another major hit which became a huge dancehall anthem for the women.
D’Angel took her vivacity and energy to various stage shows locally and internationally. Her spicy lyrics and charismatic stage performances landed her numerous nominations and awards from then until now. In 2006 and 2007 she was nominated as one of the Female DJ of the year and was awarded Best Dressed Female Artiste in those same years. Despite the media hyped personal problems in mid 2007, D’Angel was able to reaffirm her place as a dancehall diva after the release of her hit single Blaze (Up and Live Riddim) produced by Arif Cooper for Fresh Ear Productions and the groundbreaking video which quickly rose to the top spot on all the video charts of all the local cable stations and was in heavy rotation on radio as well.
In early 2008, with the propelling success from Blaze, D’Angel boosted her presence in the music fraternity locally and internationally as she was a performer at the 27th IRAWMA Awards in New York and a nominee for Best Female Deejay. In addition to a plethora of singles claiming heavy rotation on the local airwaves including the singles: Caan Stall featuring Vybz Kartel, Lucky Charm, Whisper, Good Day, High Intensity, Hustling Ladies, Real Gangsta, Talk is Cheap, Don’t Hate, Naw Go Nuh Weh and the mega hit single Stronger, which went Number One on all major charts in Jamaica and was steady as one of the Top Five songs on the New York and Florida Top 30 Singles Charts. The video for ‘Stronger’ stopped no short of Number One status on all the video charts as well and easily became a household song that appeals to the women who have been through relationship problems similar to hers.
Armed with all the success from her single ‘Stronger’, D’Angel has added several accolades to her portfolio in latter parts of 2008 most of which includes; granted a Business Management scholarship from Caribbean Institute of Business; one of the most requested artiste on RE-TV’s School Tour; the STAR Featured Artiste for May; the recipient of the Digicel’s People’s Choice Award at the Style Observer Awards 2008; a guest appearance on Jamaica’s most watched soap opera: Royal Palm Estate; became the spokeswoman for Wray and Nephew’s product G-Force; motivational speaker at various Schools across Jamaica; a collaboration with international hip-hop artistes DJ Unk and Sean Kingston together; and awarded Stone Love’s Female Deejay of 2008. With all the multiple nominations at Youth View Awards, the proud recipient of the Singjay of the 2008 at the 2009 EME’s Awards, a performer and presenter at the 28th IRAWMA Awards in New York and was nominated for Best Female Deejay; she endorses many charity events and has appeared on several kids fashion pageants.
D’Angel continues to display that confidence and hard work will pay-off as she have been a member of the major schools and community tours namely; Coca-Cola, RE-TV and recently Irie FM Road Show. She represents Jamaica as an ambassador when she performs on major shows overseas and boasts proudly to be amongst the line up of other major shows here in Jamaica especially the prestigious Reggae Sumfest for two consecutive years now. The future looks bright for D’Angel because she’s one of the hottest Female Dancehall Artists and her growing demand as well.