b. 1968, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. She began performing in 1980 and balanced her recording career, which was managed by her parents, with her education. She studied business administration at college and when Bob Marley heard her work, she was recruited to Tuff Gong. Following on from his unsuccessful Wail ‘N’ Soul venture, a determined Marley put all his energies into the ‘Gong’ and signed newcomers Sutherland and Dallol along with Rita Marley, Tyrone Taylor and the Melody Makers. Sutherland’s live appearances helped to groom her for stardom and she performed outside of Jamaica in 1982 at a memorial concert for Bob Marley, alongside Ziggy Marley And The Melody Makers, the I-Threes and the Wailers. Viewed by many as a soft alternative to the ghetto sounds, Sutherland was unable to make an impression in the reggae charts. In 1986 she toured supporting Bunny Wailer in the USA along with Leroy Sibbles of the Heptones. She found work as a backing vocalist at Gussie Clarke’s Music Works studio, and by the late 80s she recorded over Gregory Isaacs’ ‘Mind You Dis’ rhythm on the song ‘Mr Hard To Please’, featured on the one-rhythm Music Works Showcase ’89. During the early 90s she worked with the then top producer in Jamaica, Donovan Germain, at his Penthouse studios. Her 1993 hit with Terror Fabulous, ‘Action’, was used by the Jamaican Labour Party as their campaign theme (incidentally, without her consent). The same year, she enjoyed a number 1 placing on the reggae chart when Buju Banton’s 1992 hit ‘Dickie’ was re-released featuring Sutherland’s vocals as ‘Wicked Dickie’. In 1995 EastWest Records secured the rights to ‘Action’ and reissued it. With stronger marketing, it reached the Billboard Top 40. Over 12 years later Sutherland began to make inroads in the USA reggae market with the strong-selling Call My Name in 2007.
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