Donna Marie was born in the UK, although her formative years were spent in Jamaica. It was while living in Jamaica that she demonstrated her talent singing lead in her local Pentecostal Church choir. After leaving the choir she joined a band performing lead and backing vocals. By 1989 Marie began recording as a soloist with the Pioneers, heralding her emergence in the UK as a lovers rock singer. She released her first single, ‘On The Outside’, which was a cover version of the theme to the Australian soap opera Prisoner Cell Block H. She then released four neglected albums with the group before concentrating on sessions with Delroy Wilson, which resulted in the enticing ‘Dance With Me’. Marie maintained a credible profile within the industry for a number of years, including notable sessions with vocalist Don Campbell. By July 1994 her performance at the Intermezzo nightspot in London inspired Jeff Peart of the Boiler Room production team to sign the singer. With Peart and the crew she recorded Now, which featured the chart-topping song ‘Think Twice’, a version of the Celine Dion hit. Marie’s interpretation of the song sold particularly well in South America, topped the Italian charts and held the number 1 position in the reggae charts. In 1995 she continued to maintain a high profile, appearing alongside Bunny Wailer at his prestigious concert in Finsbury Park, London, as well as performing with Beres Hammond in the UK and Shabba Ranks in Jamaica. In 1997 Marie toured Brazil and other parts of South America, where her arrival was greeted with rapturous enthusiasm. She featured on television shows, the streets were adorned with banners detailing her tour and her face appeared on the front of the daily nationals. The unprecedented welcome showed Donna Marie as the Queen of Reggae in South American eyes.
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