Wayne Wonder (born Von Wayne Charles, 26 July 1972, Buff Bay,
Portland, Jamaica) is a Jamaican reggae fusion (specifically
reggae / R&B) artist. While his early recordings were dancehall
and reggae, he later moved towards hip hop and rap.
Wonder sang in Sunday school as a child, and began songwriting
at the age of 13, getting a major career break when he was given
a regular weekly slot at Metro Media in Allman Town. He auditioned
at Sonic Sounds studio, but while Sly Dunbar was impressed, his touring
commitments with Black Uhuru prevented him from signing Wonder. He
had more success, however, with King Tubby, who produced his first
single, "Long and Lasting Love", in 1985, with two more
following. Wonder's career suffered a setback when Tubby was
killed in 1988, and he recorded for several other record producers
at Sonic Sound, enjoying a further hit with the Lloyd Dennis-produced "It's
Over Now", leading to the release of his first album, No More
Chance, although his success in this era was limited. His fortunes
improved when he began working with Dave Kelly, a friend from primary
school, who had become resident sound engineer at Penthouse Studios.
The partnership enjoyed a string of hits, starting with "Saddest
Day", and they also worked on Wonder's second album, Part 2.
His 1990 live performance of Alphaville's "Forever Young" was
recorded and later released to Alphaville fans in a limited, cassette-only
album entitled History. He toured the UK in 1992 along with other
Penthouse stars Marcia Griffiths, Tony Rebel, and Buju Banton.
He also recorded "Bonafide Love (Movie Star)" with Buju
Banton, and wrote several early hits for him, including the controversial "Boom
Bye Bye". He toured again with Banton in 1994 as part of
the Penthouse Showcase.
Wonder formed the band Alias along with Kelly, Baby Cham, Frisco
Kid, and Frankie Sly, and later Entourage.
In 2000, Wonder launched his own record label, Singso, and his 2000
album Da Vibe saw him begin to incorporate hip hop into his sound.
He collaborated with several other major artists, including Jason
Dalyrimple of Soul for Real, Foxy Brown, and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes,
and the move towards hip hop increased with his 2001 album Schizophrenic.
His career really took off internationally when he signed to Atlantic
Records, achieving worldwide success with the song "No Letting
Go" in 2003. The song is based on the Diwali riddim, which was
also used by several other artists that year, such as Sean Paul,
Lumidee and Missy Elliott. The single reached #11 in the US and
#3 in the UK.
"No Letting Go" and the album No Holding Back were a major
success on urban radio stations in the US, and this prompted the
release of several compilation albums featuring older Wonder material,
including Trojan Records', Inna Bashment Style: The Roots Of An Urban
Warrior (2005). A new album, Foreva was released in 2007. It reached
#6 on the US Top Reggae Albums chart.
Year Album US Reggae Albums US Billboard Hot 200 US R&B/Hip-Hop
1987 Wayne Wonder - - -
1991 Part 2 - - -
2000 Da Vibe - - -
2001 Schizophrenic - - -
2003 No Holding Back 2 29 10
2003 You Me And She - - -
2004 Grey Skies To Blue - - -
2005 Inna Bashment Style: The Roots Of An Urban Warrior - - -
2006 Don't Have To - - -
2006 Original Bombshell - - -
2006 Reggae Chronicles - - -
2007 Foreva 6 - -
2011 - - - -
Year Single UK official chart US Billboard Hot 100
1996 "Something Different"/"The Train is Coming" (Shaggy
featuring Wayne Wonder) 21 -
2003 "No Letting Go" 3 11
2003 "Bounce Along" 19 -
2004 "Hold Me Now" (from the movie, 50 First Dates) - -
2006 "You" - -
2007 "Gonna Love You" - -
2007 "Again" - -
2007 "For My Love" (featuring Trina)