In commemoration of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence from Britain, the Jamaica Observer’s Entertainment section recognises 50 persons who made significant, yet unheralded, contributions to the country’s culture. This week we feature singer Keith Poppin.
ROOTS artiste Keith Poppin earned a reputation in the early 1970s as having one of the smoothest voices in reggae. In 1973, Poppin (born Keith Smith) released his first solo single called Same Thing for Breakfast, which became his signature piece. Previously, he was a member of the Rocking Horse band. The song earned him recognition by topping the Jamaican chart as well as ethnic charts in Britain. One year later, he scored another hit with Envious.
Throughout the 1970s, Poppin maintained a steady flow of quality songs including Someday Girl, Why Make Believe, Whenever There is Moonlight, and Who are You, which made the British national chart in 1976. In 1980, Poppin became the first act signed to reggae star Peter Tosh’s Intel-Diplo record label but after Tosh’s death in 1987, he took a break from recording, though he appeared twice in the Popular Song Contest. During the early 1990s, Poppin moved into producing other acts and promoting stage shows with his company Jungle Lion. He currently resides in the United States and recently released his latest album Journeys