Happy Birthday Eddy Grant.

Born Edmond Montague Grant in Guyana in 1948, Eddy's musician father moved the family to North London in 1960. "In the stark, post-war late fifties/early sixties suburban environment, he was exposed to the rock and roll of Chuck Berry and the nascent pop music scene. This early combination of ethnic and commercial pop influences culminated in Eddy founding The Equals, probably the finest and certainly the first multi-racial pop/rock outfit to achieve international acclaim."

Over the next few years, Eddy wrote a number of ska songs, some of which have become classics, including the suggestive hit for Prince Buster, "Rough Rider."

In 1982, Grant moved his home and studio to Barbados, signed Ice Records (his own label) to RCA, and achieved a memorable UK number 1 hit with "I Don't Wanna Dance." The following year "Electric Avenue" reached number 2 on both sides of the Atlantic, and the parent album Killer On The Rampage proved his biggest seller.

Grant has continued recording and writing quality material, but has concentrated his efforts on building a successful music publishing company and record label.

Of his latest album Reparation, to be released in April, Eddy says, "I choose to call the album Reparation to flag the issue of reparations. You have to remember, that the African journey, was significant both for the African and the whiteman. The whiteman made significant business out of that journey. The Africans lost a lot of spirituality and lost opportunities. We also lost a lot of people."

Material: bbc.co.uk/music, chrissyfessler.blogspot.com, icerecords.com, & jamaicaobserver.com