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September 2, 2011
Star Features


Meet Grace ' Spice ' Hamilton

Spice - File

Charismatic, sexy and lyrically lethal are words that could be used to describe fast-rising deejay Spice, who even at her first major appearance at Sting 2000, made it clearthat she was here to stay.

Today, she continues to enjoy unprecedented success courtesy of her recent hit, Jim Screechie and the collaboration hit, Rampin' Shop, with Vybz Kartel, which had become a fixture on the Billboard R&B charts, debuting at# 96. The single also received immense rotation on mainstream urban stationsincluding HOT 97 and POWER105.1, all of which helped to boost her internationalappeal.

But getting to this point started more than a decade ago.

Born Grace Hamilton, she grew up in Old Braeton in Portmore, St Catherine. While attending St Catherine High, she distinguished herself in the annual Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's festival contest in music, winning several gold medals. Spice eventually graduated from school with eight CXC subjects and immediately enrolled at the Edna Manley School of the Visual and Performing Arts to study voice and drama.

However, she soon began to experiment with deejaying and in no time, she generated interest in her community with her musical abilities at local stage shows. In 1999, her appearances on JACS cable station gave her exposure, and soon after, Spice began to gain a reputation for her blistering lyrics, high energy and risqué stageperformances.

In 2000, promoter, Heavy D of Supreme Promotions discovered her talent and wasted no time in giving her the chance to perform at Sting that year. There, she delivered an excellent performance and earned four encores. That night, a dancehall star was born.

In early 2002, while on tour in England with Ward 21 and Baby Cham, and with no hit to her credit, Spice again delivered an astounding performance and in the process earned the respect of Baby Cham, who later took her under his musical wings and introduced her to Dave Kelly. There, Spice recorded her first single on the Mad House Label, MiGone on the Pretty Pretty rhythm. The single went on to do well both locally and internationally.

Soon after, Spice recorded Hype and Right There (with TOI) on Dave Kelly's Bad Gal rhythm and the videos created even more inroads for her. She then released one of her biggest local hits, Fight Ova Man, which created major waves in the dancehall. Spice continued to perform overseas for several years earning a reputation as one of dancehall's most consistent artistes.

(See Part 2 of Spice's bio in tomorrow's STAR)<

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