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Stitchie (born Cleve Laing) began his music career in Kingston, Jamaica, after he decided to give up teaching high school in 1987. It was not long before he gained the nickname "Citrus" because of his love for citrus fruits. The name evolved into "Citchie," but was misprinted by the manufacturer of his first album. The mistake wasn't noticed until after the album's release and by that time, fans had accepted the blossoming island artist by his misprinted nickname.
Stitchie originally performed as a secular dancehall reggae singer. He recorded three albums for Atlantic Records and one for Shanachie under the name Lieutenant Stitchie. In 1997, a serious car accident almost took his life. The tragic event had the singer contemplating his mortality and wondering where he would spend eternity. It was the beginning of a huge life transformation. During the next two years, the chart-topping artist attended Bible college and diligently read his Bible. He started writing only Christian songs and in 2000 released his first Christian album, Real Power, with Lion of Zion Entertainment. On June 9, 2002, Stitchie won the Outstanding Male Reggae Vocal Performance of the Year award at the Sixth Annual Caribbean Gospel Music Marlin Awards ceremony.