b. Janet Kay Bogle, 17 January 1958, London, England. Kay attended Brondesbury High School, Wembley, and later took up secretarial studies, skills to which she has returned at various junctures in her recording career. Her first recordings came under the aegis of Alton Ellis in 1977. This had been brought about by a chance meeting with members of Aswad that summer, who recommended her to the reggae stalwart. The first result of the collaboration, ‘Loving You’, topped the reggae charts. In many ways she was the prototype lovers rock singer, with her spirited vocals floating over some of the genre’s most inspired basslines. ‘That’s What Friends Are For’ and ‘I Do Love You’ followed. However, her breakthrough came with ‘Silly Games’, produced by Dennis Bovell for the Arawak label. It became a huge crossover hit, reaching number 2 in 1979. Kay has returned intermittently to recording, predominantly in the lovers rock style, and has also acted extensively as part of the Black Theatre Co-operative, appearing in several straight acting roles on television. Her work has never lost its popularity with the reggae audience, despite her low profile for much of the 80s and 90s, and she has the talent and personality to be successful on her own terms.
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