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|Also known as||KingSinga|
8 November 1970|
Spanish Town, St. Catherine, Jamaica
|Genres||Reggae, reggae fusion, dancehall|
|Labels||Work/SME Records (1994–2000)|
|Associated acts||Andy Marvel, Brian McKnight, Celine Dion, The Notorious B.I.G., Madonna|
Diana King (born 8 November 1970) is a Jamaican singer-songwriter who performs a mixture and fusion of reggae, reggae fusion and dancehall. She was born to an Indo-Jamaican mother and an Afro Jamaican father. She is best known for her hit 1995 single "Shy Guy" and her remake of "I Say a Little Prayer" which was featured on the soundtrack to My Best Friend's Wedding.
After making an appearance on The Notorious B.I.G.'s 1994 song "Respect", from his album Ready to Die, she signed a recording contract with Sony Music. Her first release was a remake of the Bob Marley song "Stir It Up" (#53 R&B) for the Cool Runnings soundtrack that same year.
King's next single, "Shy Guy", co-written and produced by Andy Marvel was released in 1995. The song, which only took them 10 minutes to write, became a hit, reaching #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and being certified gold by the RIAA in the U.S.; the single also hit #2 on the UK Singles Chart, as well as reaching #1 on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles chart, going on to sell nearly five million singles worldwide. "Shy Guy" was also ranked by the Japanese radio station J-Wave as the #1 song of 1995. In the UK, it had a place in the top 10 for seven weeks. It served as a single from the soundtrack to the 1995 film, Bad Boys in addition to being the lead release off her debut album Tougher Than Love which was released on April 25, 1995. The album peaked at #1 on Billboard's Reggae, #85 on R&B, and #179 on the Billboard 200 charts. Two follow-up singles "Love Triangle" (#85 R&B) and "Ain't Nobody" (#94 Pop, #63 R&B) followed that same year. In 1996, she collaborated with Nahki on the single "I'll Do It". Also in 1996, her version of "Piece of My Heart" was included on the soundtrack to the film The First Wives Club.
In 1997, King also scored another hit on the Billboard Hot 100 (#38) and the Hot Dance Club Play (#8) with her cover version of the song "I Say a Little Prayer" (originally recorded by Dionne Warwick in 1967), which was featured on the soundtrack to the film, My Best Friend's Wedding. Her sophomore album Think Like a Girl was released on September 30, 1997, and entered the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart at #1. The album spawned two more US singles with "L-L-Lies" and "Find My Way Back" in addition to "Supa-Lova-Bwoy" which was released exclusively in Japan. King was also featured on the 1997 soundtrack to the documentary When We Were Kings, where she performed the title track with Brian McKnight.
In 1998, King joined Celine Dion and Brownstone on stage to perform the hit "Treat Her Like a Lady" previously written and recorded by King from Tougher Than Love at the Essence Awards. That year, she also appeared on Soul Train, The RuPaul Show, and VIBE to promote Think Like a Girl. She also collaborated with artists such as Toots Hibbert, Ziggy Marley, Buju Banton, Ini Kamoze, Maxi Priest, Shaggy, Tony Rebel, I-Three, Brian Gold, Handel Tucker, Lowell 'Sly' Dunbar & Mikey Bennett on the charity single "Rise Up" with Jamaica United.
In 2002, King premiered her single, "Summer Breezin'" on BET and VH1 video outlets, and it received some urban radio airplay. Her third album Respect was released on July 24, 2002 in Japan, with plans for other markets such as the US and Europe eventually cancelled. However, it finally received a release in other markets such as the UK on April 17, 2006 and the United States on April 28, 2008.
In 2006, she released the single "Spanish Town Blues" for a Taxi Records compilation album with Sly & Robbie.
In 2007, King co-wrote and recorded the song "The Light Within" with the German reggae artist Gentleman, for his album Another Intensity. Additionally, she also collaborated with Sarah and Kid Capri for a single called "Get Me @ This Party". Later that year, she formed her own record label, ThinkLikeAgirl.
In 2009, she collaborated with Richie Stephens on a remake of the ballad "The Closer I Get To You" for his album Forever.
In 2010, King's record label ThinkLikeAgirL Music Inc. went through a licensing deal with Warner Music Japan with the release of her fourth album, Warrior Gurl. The album was released in Japan on September 22, 2010. It was led by the single "Yu Dun Kno" which was released that same year. She also recorded a track "Bounce" for another Taxi Records compilation album.
For the international release of the album, King renamed the album to AgirLnaMeKING and it was released on her birthday, November 8, 2012. Two more singles "Closer" and "Jeanz N T-Shirt" were released in 2012.
In 2016, she announced she's at work on an all-lesbian record label in addition to a new studio album and an EP. The full-length album will be a reggae release, while her EP will be an EDM (electronic dance music) release.
In June 2012, King came out as a lesbian via Facebook, stating: "I answer now, not because it's anyone's business but because it feels right with my soul and I believe by not answering or hiding it all these years somehow makes it appear as if I am ashamed of it or that I believe it is wrong." She has 15 siblings, but due to her coming out, she is now only close to one. She came out to herself in her 20s, but it took a decade for her to be comfortable with it publicly, for any backlash towards her daughter and son. She was honored for her bravery on 16 December 2012 and was presented with the prestigious "Vanguard Award" at the Out Music Awards in Las Vegas. King is the first Jamaican artist to ever publicly come out. Jamaica is at the top of the list of the countries who are extremely violent and intolerant toward the LGBT community.
|Year||Album||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|US Billboard 200||US R&B||US Reggae||US Heatseekers||AUS
|1995||Tougher Than Love||179||85||1||6||33||5||50|
|1997||Think Like a Girl||—||—||1||—||—||7||—||
|2010||Warrior Gurl (Japan)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Year||Album||Peak chart positions|
|1996||Tougher and Live (Japan)||—|
|1998||Remix Kingdom (Japan)||24|
|2002||The Best of Diana King (Japan)||78|
|2005||Essentials: I Say a Little Prayer (Japan)||—|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1994||"Stir It Up"||—||53||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||24||Cool Runnings Soundtrack|
|1995||"Shy Guy"||13||21||—||2||4||3||5||2||4||6||6||5||1||2||1||3||3||Tougher Than Love|
|1996||"I'll Do It" (with Nahki)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||non-album single|
|1997||"When We Were Kings" (with Brian McKnight)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||When We Were Kings Soundtrack|
|"I Say a Little Prayer"||38||68||8||17||27||—||—||—||34||73||—||—||—||12||—||6||21||Think Like a Girl|
|1998||"Find My Way Back"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Rise Up" (as part of Jamaica United)||—||—||—||54||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||non-album single|
|2006||"Spanish Town Blues"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||non-album single|
|2007||"Get Me @ This Party" (with Sarah feat. Kid Kapri)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||non-album single|
|2011||"Yu Dun Know"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Warrior Gurl|
|"Jeanz N T-Shirt"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.|
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- Australian (ARIA) chart peaks:
- Top 50 peaks: "australian-charts.com > Diana King in Australian Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
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- "L-L-Lies": "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 12 July 2016". Imgur.com. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
- "ダイアナ・キングのCDアルバムランキング、トニー・ブラクストンのプロフィールならオリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
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- "RIAJ > The Record > August 1996 > Certified Awards (June 1996)" (PDF). Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- "RIAJ > The Record > December 1997 > Certified Awards (October 1997)" (PDF). Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- "Diana King - US Hot 100". billboard.com. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- "Diana King - US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". billboard.com. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- "Diana King - US Dance Club Songs". billboard.com. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- "Diana King - UK Chart". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
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