Prodigal Son...From the dunghill to the top of the hill

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Prodigal_son.jpgLike is the case with many young Jamaican males, his grandmother was his guardian, but when she died he "broke out".

Calvin Whilby aka Prodigal Son was educated in the admonition of the Lord by his grandmother, and she insisted that attending church was a way of life for him. Young Calvin accepted Christ at age 5, and continued through to age 13.

That was the age at which his grandmother died, and from thereon things went downhill for him...Prodigal's became rebellious and developed a 'don't care' attitude. It was no wonder with that attitude he relocated to Rema in Kingston, one of Jamaica's toughest inner-cities. In no time he was involved in gang and gun violence.

As Calvin put it, "I found protection and family in the gang."
Interestingly, the gang was called the "Fatherless Crew". Fortunately, he developed a longing for his heavenly father. He became convinced that the Lord loved him, when he realized that many of his "ragamuffin" colleagues were dying by the gun, but, he was still
alive.

After recommitting his life to Christ in 1998, he adopted his name after the biblical prodigal son and decided to use the gift of music God had given him to reach out to others.

Things looked up for him when he met musical genius and producer, Danny Browne who became not only his producer, but mentor and friend.

Prodigal Son has developed, and is now accepted as one of Jamaica's most prolific Gospel artiste.

He has performed at sold out venues, before crowds as huge as 150,000, at events such as Antigua Governmental Celebrations (Caribbean), International Reggae Festival of Life (Chicago, USA) Fun in the Sun, Recharge, Sting (Jamaica), France World Cup Qualifier Match (Jamaica vs. Mexico) Air Jamaica sponsored UK Tour, Israel & New Breed Tour (Jacksonville, USA) and many other International events.

He has shared stages with renowned Gospel Artistes, Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, CeCe Winans, Jackie McCullough, Tobi Mac, Mary Mary, Israel Houghton & New Breed, Martha Munizzi, Kirk Franklyn, Yolanda Adams and mainstream artistes such as: Shaggy, Junior Gong, Beenie Man, Bounti Killa, Destiny's Child, Jermaine Jackson, Maxi Priest, Regina Belle, Calypso Rose, Barrington Levy, Luciano, Jimmy Cliff and more.

Prodigal Son has gained the respect of both fans and critics and, is among the few Jamaican gospel artistes who are appreciated in both the Christian arena and mainstream/secular and as such was the only Gospel Artiste that appeared on the 2006 B Mobile 'No Violence' school tour in Jamaica.

He has received several mainstream awards including: Jamaica
Federation of Musicians, best new gospel artiste for 2001, the X-News Award, Artist of the Year 2001, Marlin Award for Best Dancehall Recording for 2004, U.S. Urban Gospel Award, Best Producer 2005, Urban Gospel Award Best Caribbean Artiste, and the Canadian Maja Award Album of the year 2006.

He has copped numerous number one (1) spots on charts like UK's United by 1, Love 101 FM Jamaica, Flow FM Canada, Mystic 98, Fort Lauderdale, Florida and UK's Soulcare. Prodigal was interviewed and featured on the US network CBS on the 700 club programme 'Turning
Point' where he shared his life changing testimony.

His debut album Radikal Prodigal produced by Danny Browne featured crossover hits I Wish, Woe and Radikal Style, all three songs were the first dancehall gospel songs to be played on mainstream radio in Jamaica such as RJR, Irie FM and Hot 102. His second album Still
Standing which was self-produced was voted best gospel album of 2005 by Love 101 and track #10, Journey, was voted song of the year. A second song Track # 5 Still Standing is nominated by the International Reggae & World Music Award as best gospel song.

Prodigal has been voted best dressed artiste by Buzz Magazine, made the top 10 list of the Caribbean's finest and is the first and only Gospel artiste to be signed by BMobile, a major telecommunication
conglomerate. And, he has landed another corporate endorsement deal with Partners & Financial Investments Ltd. He'll be the spokesperson for the next three (3) years.

Now an ordained pastor Prodigal Son recently launched his fourth album a double CD featuring the work of international artiste Micah Stampley, Junior Tucker and Richie Stephens.

 

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