Billy Ocean (born Leslie Sebastian Charles;
21 January 1950) is a Trinidadian and Tobagonian British recording
artist who had a string of R&B international pop hits in the 1970s
and 1980s. He was the most popular British R&B singer-songwriter of
the early to mid-1980s. After scoring his first four UK Top 20
successes, seven years passed before he accumulated a series of
transatlantic successes, including three U.S. number ones. In 1985,
Ocean won the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for
his worldwide hit, "Caribbean Queen", and in 1987 was nominated for the
Brit Award for Best British Male.
In 2002, the University of Westminster, London, awarded Ocean an
honorary doctorate of music. In 2010, Ocean was presented with the
Lifetime Achievement Award at the MOBO Awards. On 29 July 2011, Ocean
became a Companion of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts,
presented to him by Sir Paul McCartney. He is a member of the Rastafari
His 1993 album Time to Move On failed to produce any major successes,
but his 1989 Greatest Hits collection has been a steady seller over the
years, and his 1997 compilation Love Is For Ever made No. 7 on the UK
album chart. Ocean's last studio album for Jive Records was Time to Move
On, which he recorded in Chicago with R&B star R. Kelly. R. Kelly
had been a longtime admirer of the way Ocean was able to mix the more
emotive soul style with a crossover popular style.
In 2002, the University of Westminster in London awarded Ocean an
honorary doctorate of music. The awards ceremony took place in the
Barbican Centre, in London. He continues to tour and record in Europe.
He lives in Sunningdale, Berkshire with his wife, Judy; and their three
children Cherie, Antony and Rachel. Antony played rugby sevens at the
2014 Commonwealth Games for Barbados. Ocean is now a patron for Tech
Music Schools in London, made up of Drumtech, Vocaltech, Guitar-X and
Keyboardtech. He regularly visits to hold clinics and seminars for the
In 2004, "Caribbean Queen" was re-released as a digital single for its
20th anniversary, shooting up to No. 25 on the Billboard digital singles
chart and garnering radio play across the United States and UK. A remix
of the single by will.i.am was released in 2005.
In October 2007, Ocean commenced his first UK tour in more than 15
years. In February and March 2008 he toured Australia and the Far East.
His album, Because I Love You was released on 2 February 2009. To
coincide with this tour and album launch, Ocean worked with Adoseof
Design on a revision of Ocean's website.
In April 2010, an 18-track compilation album was released in the UK by
Sony Music titled The Very Best of Billy Ocean to tie in with a 30-date
tour of the UK and Ireland. Featuring Ocean's biggest hits, the album
debuted in the UK Albums Chart at No. 17.
On 20 October 2010, Ocean was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the MOBO Awards.
On 29 July 2011, Ocean became a Companion of the Liverpool Institute for
Performing Arts. His title was presented by Sir Paul McCartney.
In 2012, Ocean made a cameo appearance in the British comedy movie Keith Lemon: The Film as Lemon's father.