Claudette Kemp to host birthday bash on February 6

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claudette-kemp.jpgOn February 6, her birthday. Ckaudette Kemp, manager of the Prophet, Capleton,Kemp will take the spotlight at her birthday bash and concert celebratingher 36th year in the music business.

The show will be held at Spego's Place, off Mandela Highway.

An impressive line-up of acts including Capleton, Luciano and Iba Mahr will salute Kemp, a former insurance industry executive who made her entertainment industry debut in 1980 as manager of singer Keith Poppin's Popular Song Contest campaign.

"We started out planning it as a birthday show, but I realised I've reached the four 9s in the music business. That's 36 years, so we decided to make it a celebration," Kemp said.

For the past 15 years, she has managed Capleton, one of dancehall's most flamboyant figures. According to Kemp, he first approached her to be his manager in 1994 but she declined. She had a change of heart when he came calling again six years later.

"I've watched him mature and grow as an artiste and as a professional. I've had the opportunity to travel the world with him, and that's a high point for me," she said.

The Kingston-born Kemp was working at the Dyoll insurance company in 1980 when Poppin suggested she produce his song for the Popular Song Contest that year.

"I didn't know a thing about producing, but he said, 'Yuh can do it! Jus' get some musician'. And I did."

Poppin's song, Jamdown Festival, was released on Peter Tosh's Intel Diplo label. It had an all-star cast: saxophonist Dean Fraser (who also arranged it); trumpeter David Madden, trombonist Nambo Robinson, and guitarists Willie Lindo and Winston 'Bo Pee' Bowen.

Stanley and the Turbines' Come Sing With Me won the contest, but Kemp decided to stay with the business. She managed Hammond for 11 years before assuming the reins for Capleton.