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Tanya Stephens

Biography

Tanya Stephens brings a welcome female sensibility to the male-dominated dancehall scene. Born Vivienne Tanya Stephenson, Stephens was steeped in everything from calypso to American soul as a child. When she started rhyming as a teenager, she found herself bringing calypso's witty double entendres and a melodic singing voice (as well as strong toasting) to the table. She hooked up with producer Barry O'Hare for her first album, 1994's Big Tings A Gwan, which launched hits like "Kick Way" and "I Bet You Miss Me." In 1998 Stephens moved to Sweden, where she recorded alternative rock tracks, of all things, for Warner Bros. Needless to say the move didn't last -- she missed dancehall dreadfully, and within three years she was back in Jamaica, hanging around recording studios, armed with a burning creative streak. She released the refreshing and savvy Gangsta Blues in 2004 on VP Records and followed it with Rebelution in 2006.
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