Artists

Beres Hammond

Beres Hammond

One of the premier lovers rock artists to emerge out of Jamaica following the genre's late-'70s/early-'80s boom, Beres Hammond established himself in the mid-'80s and particularly in the '90s with his soul-driven vocal style indebted to classic rocksteady and American R&B. From his early days as lead singer of Zap Pow to chart-topping solo hits like 1985's "What One Dance Can Do" and the massive 1990 dancehall smash "Tempting to Touch," Hammond earned a reputation as romantic frontman, songwriter, and collaborator who could cross over into more socially conscious roots reggae, hip-hop fusion, and straight-ahead R&B. Released in 1996, the Love from a Distance album cemented his status as one of lovers rock's leading men, while later projects like 2012's Grammy-nominated One Love, One Life devoted equal attention to social issues and romantic odes. While his output slowed down over the next several years, Hammond remained a highly respected figure and busy touring act, returning to the studio in 2018 for Never Ending, which topped Billboard's Reggae Albums chart upon its release.

He was born Hugh Beresford Hammond on August 28, 1955, in Annotto Bay, in the Jamaican province of St. Mary. Hammond grew up listening to his father's collection of American R&B (Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye) and jazz, and also fell in love with native Jamaican music during the ska and rocksteady eras; his primary influence was Alton Ellis, and he also listened to the likes of Peter Tosh, the Heptones, and Ken Boothe.