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Hortense Ellis

b. 18 April 1941, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies, d. 19 October 2000, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Ellis began her career performing on Vere Johns’ Opportunity Hour, where she appeared in six semi-finals and four finals demonstrating her vocal skills. Unfortunately, her later career was often overshadowed by her brother Alton Ellis, the man regularly referred to as the godfather of reggae. In 1962, Byron Lee enrolled her services to perform with his band the Dragonaires, and two years later she was awarded the honour of Jamaica’s best female vocalist. She also recorded with Ken Lack, enjoying hits with ‘I Shall Sing’ and ‘Brown Girl In The Ring’ (later a massive international hit for Boney M. ), and with Coxsone Dodd, recording ‘I’ll Come Softly’ and ‘I’m Just A Girl’, an interpretation of Alton’s hit, ‘I’m Just A Guy’. In 1969 she was again awarded the silver cup as the island’s top female vocalist.

Ellis continued to record throughout the 70s. Much of her output was with Bunny Lee and in response to Althea And Donna’s international hit ‘Up Town Top Ranking’, he recorded her as Queen Tiney for ‘Down Town Ting’, followed by the popular ‘Natty Dread Time’. She recorded a cover version of another song that her brother had recorded at Studio One, ‘Sitting In The Park’, and the popular ‘Mark My Words’. A duet with her brother, ‘Since I Fell For You’, and ‘Superstar’ maintained her profile. She recorded several popular cuts for Lee Perry as Mahalia Saunders, the name she adopted after marrying Mikey ‘Junior’ Saunders in 1971. The marriage broke down five years later, and Ellis spent much of the late 70s raising her children. She found the time to record ‘Unexpected Places’ with Gussie Clarke, a classic cut that demonstrated her extensive vocal range. In combination with Jackie Edwards she had a hit with ‘Let It Be Me’, while as a soloist she released ‘Got To Make It’ and ‘Time After Time’.

Ellis proved an on/off performer who had to balance a career while raising her family. She lived in Miami, Florida for much of the 80s, but subsequently returned to Jamaica. In 1993 she appeared with Bunny Lee in the television documentary Stir It Up, where she complained that slackness and gun lyrics were detrimental to the music and were a bad influence on young people. Throat cancer severely curtailed her performances during the rest of the decade.
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Hortense Ellis Sings Lovers Rocks

1. Unexpected Places

2. Mark My Words

3. I'm Still In Love

4. Willow Tree

5. Words

6. Melody Life

7. Ain't That Loving You

8. Young Hearts Run Free

9. Down The Aisle

10. Baby Come On

11. I Can't Say Goodbye

12. Loving Arms

13. I Only Live To Love You

14. Sincerely

15. Where The Boys Are

16. One Of Us Will Weep Tonight

17. Wooden Heart

18. Never See My Baby Anymore

19. Devoted To You

20. Stand By Your Man

21. Eddie My Love

22. Don't Want To Cry

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Track List: Queen Of Reggae Music

1. Words

2. Wooden Heart

3. Unexpected Places

4. Young Heart Run Free

5. Never See My Baby

6. Devoted To You

7. For Once In My Life

8. Can't Tell You In My Life

9. Stand By Your Man

10. Loving Arms

Comments

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Beautiful music the way it should be and nothing less.

Rasta....
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I love this song very much it brings back memories of the good old time days from,Hortens e Ellis , those days really good,!!!
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My child hood friend
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This is good Reggae music just the way I like it.


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Brother & Sister nice :) :)
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Pandora you should have bio for Hortense. Beautiful voice.
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As the owner/creato r of the Official Hortense Ellis website http://horte n s e - e l l i s . c o m I am happy for Pandora to use any tracks from the site that they wish

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