Billy Ocean is the biggest black recording star Britain has ever produced, one who has sold more than 30 million records in his lifetime. And he is coming to the Royal Theatre, Castlebar, on Bank Holiday Sunday May 6.
Born in Trinidad, Billy Ocean settled in London’s East End when just seven years old. The calypso crazy kid soon got turned on to soul singers like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, as well as pop groups like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, leading him to spend much of his study time in the music room. Billy got his first break when he signed to GTO records, for which his second single was the Motown-ish ‘Love Really Hurts Without You’, which reached No 2 in the UK charts and No 12 in the US.
1986 was not bad either, opening with ‘When the Going gets Tough (the tough gets going )’, the theme song to the movie Jewel of the Nile. More hits were to follow with the now classic ‘Get Outta my Dreams; Get into my Car’, giving Billy yet another US No 1 hit. After huge worldwide success and with a young family at home, he decided to take a break to spend some well earned time with them. In 2007, with the children all grown up, Billy went back out to perform his hits again with live dates in the UK and Europe, USA, Canada, and the Caribbean. The tour was a great success and culminated in his getting the bug once more for writing and recording. 2010 saw Billy back on the road again with his band and this time the tour included Ireland, and a riveting, soulful, performance at the Royal Theatre in Castlebar, along with the release of The Very Best of Billy Ocean. This year he returns to the Royal, his hair may be grey and his face a little more lined, but Billy Ocean has still got it and has more energy than some people half his age. If his performance in 2010 is anything to go by, fans will again revert to teenagers when the 1970s soul man takes to the stage.