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With his smooth, crooning, tenor vocals, up-tempo arrangements, and spiritually uplifting themes, Everton Blender (born Everton Dennis Williams) is one of the top performers of Jamaica's dancehall tradition. In addition to receiving the prestigious Chicago Martins International award, Blender received South Florida Reggae/Soca awards as "most improved entertainer" in 1996 and 1997. According to The St. Louis Dispatch, Blender "evokes memories of classic reggae performers of the past." Rootsworld added "Blender's voice is a friendly, expressive purr, skipping sure-footedly through and around melodies, supported by varied, bouncy, instrumentation rooted in signature booming reggae bass, kept light by lively percussion and bright background vocals." Blender's musical career was launched when he entered an amateur contest at the Bohemia Club, singing Dennis Brown songs under the name "Babbaru." Winning the contest on his second attempt, he began appearing on the Destiny Sound System. Although he released several singles, including "Where Is Love" in 1979 and "Baba Black Sheep" in 1985, his failure to achieve commercial success left him frustrated and disillusioned. For nearly a decade, he remained withdrawn from music. Blender resumed his career in 1995 when Garnett Silk, a former co-worker at the Destiny Sound System, introduced him to record producer Richard Bell. Bell was so impressed by Blender's vocalizing that he signed him to record for his label, Star Trail. One of his first singles for the label, "We No Jus' a Come," became a hit. Blender was equally successful in England where his first album, Lift Up Your Head, reached number four on the Black Echo music chart. The title track was subsequently nominated for a Jamaican Music award. Blender's album, Rootsman Credential, released in 1999, included the hit tune, "Ghetto People Sing." The 14 singles that he recorded after his debut album were compiled on the album, A Piece of da Blender: The Singles, released in 1996. ~ Craig Harris