Biography: Nadine Sutherland

Nadine Sutherland’s career history fits none of the stereotypes commonly attributed to Jamaican popular music stars. She made her stage debut at the age of nine as a winner of Jamaica’s popular Tastees Talent Contest. International reggae superstar Bob Marley, signed her to his Tuff Gong label while she was still an adolescent. Nadine went from being known as reggae’s “Teen Queen” with hits like “Starvation” and “Until” to garnering international acclaim as the co-lead on dancehall anthems “Action” and “Anything for You”. Considered by fans and critics alike to be the premier Jamaican female vocalist of her generation, Nadine continues to fulfill the promise she demonstrated as a child.

Throughout the 90’s, Nadine was center stage in the dancehall with solo hits like “Babyface” and “Wicked & Wild” as well as her collaborations with top deejays including Buju Banton, Mad Cobra, Spragga Benz, and, of course Terror Fabulous and Canadian sing jay, Snow. Hit ballad “Pair of Wings” highlighted Nadine’s songwriting ability. Released near the time of the shocking death of promising reggae singer, Garnet Silk, her earnest and tender performance became the unofficial tribute. The 1997 release of her self-titled album on VP Records further showcased her depth and sincerity as a writer and a performer. The song “No, No (Not My Baby)” is one of the most powerful mother-to-son ballads ever written. Live performances of the song have brought tears to the eyes of the toughest men.

Having devoted most of her childhood and young adult years to her singing, Nadine took time recently to explore some of her other interests. “I was always on the road, and sometimes you start to wonder about being a normal woman, and what else you could be doing with your life.” She flexed her writing talents further with a weekly column in Jamaica’s top weekly publication. Her longtime love of dance led to her becoming a certified fitness instructor. At the same time, Nadine also realized that music is a true passion for her. “I’ve been singing since I was eleven and still going to school, but music has always picked me up and sustained me, although at times I’ve been confused as to what I should do.”

Nadine was soon to find another area of the cultural industries in which she excelled, television. She continues to be featured in the cultural phenomenon Rising Stars, Jamaica’s comparison to American idol since its inception in 2004 as one of three series judges. As the winner of Jamaica’s largest talent contest herself, she brought her life experience to Rising Stars, which was Jamaica’s first live, made for television talent search, one of most popular television program since the privatization of Jamaica’s television sector. According to Nadine “I see myself in some of the young contestants, and I understand what they go through. I feel protective of them because this business can be rough, and you won’t always have someone to hold your hand.”

Nadine took on the role of executive producer and released her mega album Call My Name. The album went to number one in South Florida, number three in Jamaica, and number two in New York. The hit single from the album Big Things’, was given heavy rotation in the Caribbean Reggae market and its video shown widely on international video shows.

In the fall of 2009 Nadine released two singles “Down on my Kneesproduced by Arif Cooper and “Through it All” produced by Lenky Marsden. 2010 kicked off with two charting hit songs “Life in The Streets and “The Universe Song” released on the Penthouse Label. Nadine celebrates 30 outstanding years in the music business in 2010. Signing to the management of Jade Lee of Jade Promotions in late 2009, Nadine has a renewed sense of enthusiasm in the music business.

In today’s overly sexual and over-produced music market, Nadine Sutherland makes a deliberate effort to portray a sense of style and sophistication. She is a talented female singer, who has been described as “capable, sexy and hauntingly beautiful, with uncompromising flair and intelligence”. Her roots are embedded in the very heart of Jamaican culture. Although she has already accomplished so much in her life, Nadine has no intention of slowing down. “I still have dreams to fulfill, and this thirtieth anniversary is the latest leg of my journey, a significant milestone!