Born in Belmont, Trinidad and Tobago, one of nine children, David Rudder spent much of his early life with his grandmother, a devout Baptist. He began singing with a calypso band at a young age, and in his teens sang backup vocals in a calypso tent run by Lord Kitchener.
In 1977, he joined Charlie's Roots, a leading band in Trinidad and Tobago, and spent many years as one of the band's vocalists. In 1986 he came to prominence on Andy Narell's album The Hammer, which produced two big hits: "The Hammer" (a tribute to the late pannistRudolph Charles) and "Bahia Girl". This was followed in 1987 with "Calypso Music", a brilliant encapsulation of the history of calypso. In 1988 Rudder released what is widely considered his best album to date, Haiti, which included the title track, a tribute to the glory and suffering of Haiti; "Engine Room", which captured the energy of the steel band; and "Rally 'Round the West Indies", which became the anthem of West Indies cricket.In 2008, Rudder did a Soca collaboration with fellow Trinidadian Machel Montano, "Oil and Music" on Machel's 2007 album Flame On. His music is heard all over the world from Panama City, Panama, to New Delhi, India.