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Sandra Cross

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A native of South London, Sandra Cross is the only girl among seven brothers. She started singing in the Pentecostal Church and led the choir when she was nine. At 14, she recorded with a friend as Love & Unity. Their recording was the first prize for winning a talent show with a song Cross wrote entitled "I Adore You." Released on Studio 76 Records, it was number one on Britain's reggae chart for four straight weeks in 1979; They followed with three Top Five hits: "I Just Don't Care," "I Can't Let You Go," and "Put It On," before splitting up. After the breakup, Cross wanted to go solo but met the Mad Professor, a producer, who owned Ariwa Records. He chose Cross for an all-girl band called the Wild Bunch, whose lone album entered the reggae Top 20 chart in 1984; they toured Europe for a year before disbanding. Cross' first solo release was a remake of the Stylistics' "Country Living," which aced British Chart for ten straight weeks in 1985. Her second solo attempt, "You're Lying," nested at the top spot four weeks, Ariwa released her debut solo album Country Living in 1986. She won the British Reggae Awards for the Best Female Singer six consecutive years in a row, from 1985 to 1991. Other awards included the Radio London Entertainment Celebrity Award in 1986. In 1989, she snagged The Voice Newspaper Music Awards as Best Reggae Female Artist, and won the Chicago Radio Awards for the Highest Selling Record in 1990. Ariwa released six albums on Cross' including The Wild Bunch LP; in 1992 she recorded Lovers Interlude, on Teichiku Records. In 1996, she recorded her first reggae/jazz album, Just a Dream, on Pioneer Records, a Japanese label like Teichiku. Cross' latest recordings have appeared on SCM Records, an acronym for Sandra Cross Music. ~ Andrew Hamilton

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1963 in London, England

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