Gospel artiste Judy Mowatt - "To whom much is given much is required,"

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judy-mowatt-gospel-reggae.jpgAlthough the music business has seen hundreds of gifted female artists, there have been but a handful who compose their own music. JUDY MOWATT, who for years was a key member of BOB MARLEY'S I-THREES, is one of those rare women who control their artistic destiny. As a result, she has achieved an impressive chain of accomplishments. JUDY became the first female singer nominated for a GRAMMY in the category of reggae music when her 'WORKING WONDERS' LP was nominated in 1985. She was the first female reggae artist to appear on LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, when she made her solo debut that same year. Her LP 'BLACK WOMAN,' is considered by many critics to be the greatest reggae LP done by a female artiste, and it was the first reggae LP recorded by a woman acting as her own producer.

Being committed to meaningful lyrics, JUDY became a renowned advocate for women's issues, spiritual inspiration and African liberation. The song, 'LOVE - IS OVERDUE,' that is featured on her album, made her the first female reggae singer to score a major American popular hit. With her magnificent voice, fertile composing talent and stunning beauty, JUDY has all the ingredients necessary to continue taking her trend - setting music even further into the international arena.

Born some 45 years ago in Industry Village - Gordon Town, St. Andrew, Jamaica, JUDY came from very humble beginnings. Although her family was so poor, that they were unable to afford a radio, no-one in the household ever went hungry. As a child, singing came as naturally to her as breathing and she was always 'singled-out' for solo spots with church choirs. While attending Holy Trinity and Kingston Commercial Schools, JUDY became a member of a dance troupe, which toured Jamaica and the Caribbean. Her aspiration was to become a registered nurse, but by divine purpose, that was not to be. She later discovered that GOD'S plan was for her to nurture and restore healing to the hearts and souls of mankind through her music. Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield, Dionne Warwick, Bob Marley, Marcia Griffiths, The Staple Singers and The Soulettes were the musicians who inspired her most.

A coincidental meeting in 1967, with two teenage girls who were once members of her dance troupe, led to the formation of the singing group called, THE GAYLETTES.
These amazing songbirds rapidly became one of the most popular singing groups in Jamaica, after being asked to sing backing tracks for Federal Records. The Group later recorded several hits on the Federal Records Label.

Although contractual snags forced JUDY to record under other names, by the early seventies, she launched a solo career, singing both soul ballads and reggae tunes. A number of hits followed, including 'I SHALL SING' which was later covered by ART GARFUNKEL, 'WAY OVER YONDER' and 'EMERGENCY CALL.' She then teamed up with Rita Marley and Marcia Griffiths to form the I-THREES, who became BOB MARLEY'S backing vocalists when the original WAILERS - PETER TOSH and BUNNY WAILER left the group in 1974. Their soaring harmonies, majestic costumes and dance movements, choreographed by JUDY, were highlights of BOB MARLEY concerts, as they accompanied him on his historic global odysseys.

Meanwhile, JUDY had her biggest solo hit with 'MELLOW MOOD,' a BOB MARLEY composition, that became the title track on her first solo LP in 1975. Constant touring with BOB MARLEY prevented JUDY from concentrating on her solo career. It was not until 1978 that the landmark second LP, 'BLACK WOMAN,' was released. Produced by JUDY and FREDDIE MCGREGOR, the record features several moving compositions such as 'JOSEPH' - a soulful ballad and tribute to BOB MARLEY, 'SISTERS CHANT,' 'STRENGTH TO GO THROUGH' and the title track 'BLACK WOMAN,' celebrating the strength and dignity of black women. This LP still remains one of the greatest reggae albums ever recoded and produced by a woman. Subsequently, the albums expanded her musical direction, as she focused on her life as a Rastafarian Woman and the special concerns of women. Her third LP, 'ONLY A WOMAN,' confirmed her position as a spokesperson for women’s issues. It features the excellent tracks like title track, 'ONLY A WOMAN' and 'I'M NOT MECHANICAL.' The Almighty God tremendously blessed JUDY .

"To whom much is given much is required," that is what JUDY believes, so she sees her God given duty as giving back to the society that nurtured her. In 1994, JUDY spearheaded an organization called CONCERNED WOMEN IN ACTION, primarily to assist in acquiring a well needed generator for The Fort Augusta Correctional Center For Women. This she accomplished, with aid from the BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION who co-sponsored the staging of several fund raising concerts both in Jamaica and in the United States. These actions increased awareness of the needs at this center. JUDY is still constantly involved in organizing and planning many charitable events for various institutions. Although she was a devoted Rastafarian for twenty-two years, desiring to please God all the way, JUDY is now of the Christian faith.

For more go to - myspace.com/judymowatt

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