Full Name Rexton Ralston Fernando Gordon
Born January, 1966
Place St. Ann, Jamaica
Genres Dancehall, Reggae
Years Active 1985 – present
Labels Epic

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Shaba Ranks Full Bio

Rexton Ralston Fernando Gordon known as “Shabba Ranks” was born on 17th January 1966, in St. Ann, Jamaica. Ranks’ family moved from a country parish to Kingston when he was eight (8) and by the age of twelve (12) he was learning from DJs such as General Echo, Brigadier Jerry, Yellowman and Josey Wales. Ranks served his apprenticeship with the Roots Melody sound system and recorded his debut, “Heat Under Sufferers Feet’, in 1985. Josey Wales took him to King Jammys, for whom Ranks recorded 1986″s “Original Fresh.”

When he first started out, Ranks’s focus was on “reality” lyrics–those intended to raise social consciousness. Soon, however, he discovered “sex sells”. He told USA Today, “Love is what made me. If it wasn’t for love, I wouldn’t be here.”
He joined Bobby Digital’s new label and had considerable success with “Peanie Peanie”, “Must Love Reggae”, “Live Blanket” and “Wicked In Bed”. “Who She Love” orchestrated by Bobby Digital and Mike Bennett was Shabba Ranks first worldwide number #1 song. Gussie Clarke later produced the same collaboration for the album “Holding On”, which generated big hits “Pirates Anthem”, “Stop Spreading Rumors” and “Turn It Off”. Many other major hits followed under Gussie Clark’s productions such as “Telephone Love (with JC Lodge)”, Twice My Age (with Crystal)”, and “Mr. Loverman (with Deborah Glasgow).

Shabba Ranks recorded for other producers outside Bobby Digital and Gussie Clarke, and became a dominating force in reggae music during the 90’s. Ranks talent sweetened success when remixed versions of “Mr Loverman” and “Housecall”, the latter a duet with Maxi Priest, and “Slow And Sexy” featuring Johnny Gill, became major crossover hits during the 90s. Shabba Ranks first album for Epic, As Raw As Ever, had hits such as “Trailor Load A Girls”, “HouseCall” (with Maxi Priest), “The Jam (with KRS One)”, and “Watcha Gonna Do (with Queen Latifah)”. With well over 500,000 copies sold worldwide, created a reggae-rap fusion that proved highly successful and earned Ranks his first Grammy Awards. The follow-up album, X-Tra Naked, features hits such as “TingA-Ling”, “Slow & Sexy” (with Johnny Gill), and “Muscle Grip”, which sold another 500,000 copies worldwide, Mr. Shabba Ranks become the first DJ to win two consecutive Grammy Awards. He was the first Reggae artist to win back to back Grammy Awards.

With his baritone, triumphant record-breaking dancehall-style, this enabled the Dancehall Emperor to tour the continent of Africa, met President Nelson Mandela and performed in South Africa’s Johannesburg stadium in front of well over 100,000 screening fans. He was back in loverman mode for the single “Let’s Get It On’, which preceded 1995″s album A Mi Shabba.
The legendary Jamaican dancehall DJ Shabba Ranks led the craze of drum machine-driven, dancehall, reggae-styled rap in the 1980s and 1990s throughout Jamaica and the United States. Ranks became the creator of Reggaeton (DemBow spanish reggae) and also pioneered the way for American rap. He has collaborated with rappers, R&B musicians, and other reggae artists, among them KRS-1, Queen Latifah, Eddie Murphy, and Maxi Priest. Shabba Ranks currently holds the #1 song on the charts in Jamaica titled “None a Dem Nuh Bad Like Shabba Ranking”. Shabba Ranks is currently working on an album, under his self- owned production banner “Emperor Ranks Entertainment” and Publishing Company “Shamichshasha Inc”. Legendary, iconic, immortal Shabba Ranks still tours each year to sold out stadiums across Europe and the Caribbean.