Diana King

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Diana King
Also known asKingSinga
Born (1970-11-08) 8 November 1970 (age 50)
Spanish Town, St. Catherine, Jamaica
GenresReggae, reggae fusion, dancehall
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active1993–present
LabelsWork/SME Records (1994–2000)
Associated actsAndy Marvel, Brian McKnight, Celine Dion, The Notorious B.I.G., Madonna

Diana King (born 8 November 1970)[1] is a Jamaican-American 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.[2] 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,[3] 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 No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart,[4] as well as reaching No. 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 No. 1 song of 1995. In the UK, it had a place in the top 10 for seven weeks.[5] 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 25 April 1995. The album peaked at No. 1 on Billboard's Reggae, No. 85 on R&B, and No. 179 on the Billboard 200 charts. Two follow-up singles "Love Triangle" (#85 R&B) and "Ain't Nobody" (#94 Pop, No. 63 R&B) followed that same year. In 1996, she collaborated with Nahki on the single "I'll Do It".[6] Also in 1996, her version of "Piece of My Heart" was included on the soundtrack to the film The First Wives Club.[7]

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 second album Think Like a Girl was released on 30 September 1997, and entered the Billboard[8] Top Reggae Albums chart at No. 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.[9]

In 1999, she toured India doing a five city tour. From Goa, she said: "I never thought I would come back to India."[10]

King entered negotiations with Madonna's Maverick Records label in 2000.[11]

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 24 July 2002 in Japan,[12] 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 17 April 2006[13] and the United States on 28 April 2008.[14]

In 2006, she released the single "Spanish Town Blues" for a Taxi Records compilation album with Sly & Robbie.[15]

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".[16] Later that year, she formed her own record label, ThinkLikeAgirl.[17]

In 2009, she collaborated with Richie Stephens on a remake of the ballad "The Closer I Get To You"[18] 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 22 September 2010.[19] 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.[20]

For the international release of the album, King renamed the album to AgirLnaMeKING and it was released on her birthday, 8 November 2012.[21][22][23] 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.[24] The full-length album will be a reggae release, while her EP will be an EDM (electronic dance music) release.

Personal life[edit]

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."[25][26][27] She has 15 siblings, but due to her coming out, she is now only close to one.[24] 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.[28] 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.[29]

In January 2018, King announced that she had married her long-time girlfriend, Jamaican violinist Mijanne Webster.[30] On September 12th 2018 she announced via Twitter that she identified as non-binary. [31] In 2020 she clarified her pronouns were he/him, she/her, and they/them. [32]

In August 2021, she announced via Twitter the death of her daughter, Shalamar Diana Wright (1987-2021), who was born when Diana was sixteen.[33] Mijanne also tweeted to commemorate Shalamar and thank her for accepting Mijanne as part of her family.[34]

She holds both Jamaican and US citizenships.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Work Category Result Ref.
1995 Billboard Music Video Awards "Shy Guy" Best R&B/Urban Video of the Year Nominated [35]
Best R&B/Urban Video of the Year - New Artist Nominated
1997 Online Film & Television Association "I Say a Little Prayer" Best Adapted Song Won [36]
2012 Out Music Awards Herself Vanguard Award Won [37]



Year Album Peak chart positions[citation needed] Certifications
(sales thresholds)
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
2002 Respect 30
2010 Warrior Gurl (Japan)
2011 AgirLnaMeKING

Live/compilation albums[edit]

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
US Dance


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
"Love Triangle" 85 73 21
"Ain't Nobody" 94 63 4 13 27 48 25 41 62 31 30 28
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
"L-L-Lies" 71 67 35 47 173 29
1998 "Find My Way Back"
"Supa-Lova-Bwoy" (Japan)
"Rise Up" (as part of Jamaica United) 54 non-album single
2002 "Summer Breezin'" 8 14 85 45 98 Respect
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
2012 "Closer"
"Jeanz N T-Shirt"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


  1. ^ "Biography". Jamaican's Music.com. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Reggae Singer Diana King official Biography". Dance Hall Reggae World. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Reggae Fusion Speak: Diana King | Verve Magazine". 20 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 302. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  5. ^ Wallace, Gary. "Shy Guy – Diana King". British Chart Singles. Archived from the original on 20 January 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  6. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sAlHI3Fh2E
  7. ^ "First Wives Club [Original Soundtrack] - Original Soundtrack | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic".
  8. ^ "Diana King". Billboard. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  9. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rise-up-jamaica-united-extended-mix-single/id551193430
  10. ^ "Latest News, Breaking News Live, Current Headlines, India News Online". The Indian Express. 15 September 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  11. ^ Ang, Adae. "ALL-4-ONE Back to Back with DIANA KING October 07, 2015". Adae2Remember. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  12. ^ "Respect: Music". Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  13. ^ "Respect: Music". Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  14. ^ "Respect (PA Version) [Explicit]: Diana King: Official Music". Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  15. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/spanish-town-blues-single/id207947568
  16. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/get-me-this-party-ep/id215593604
  17. ^ ""Light within Feat. Diana King" Lyrics". Lets Sing It. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  18. ^ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Closer-I-Get-You/dp/B002TSYL3S
  19. ^ "Amazon.co.jp: ウォリアー・ガール: 音楽". Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  20. ^ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0059KXWAG
  21. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/agirlnameking/id477835995
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ "Agirlnameking: Diana King: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  24. ^ a b Yates, Siena (10 February 2016). "Diana King plans all-lesbian record label, new music". Stuff. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  25. ^ Jarchow, Boo (29 June 2012). "Jamaican Singer Diana King Comes Out". SheWired. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  26. ^ "'Yes, I am a lesbian' – Diana King". The Gleaner. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  27. ^ McDonaln. "Out reggae artist Diana King is coming to America". After Ellen. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  28. ^ http://ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=71843
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 October 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/diana-king-weds-girlfriend_122673
  31. ^ @DIANAKINGDOM (12 September 2018). "iCAME OUT as LESBIAN 2012. TODAY I IDENTIFY as #NONBINARY I'M TREMBLING AGAIN as I WRITE THIS but iGOTTA B TRUE. GR…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  32. ^ https://www.instagram.com/s/aGlnaGxpZ2h0OjE3OTQxMzU2NzIxNDA3Nzcz?story_media_id=2354332275578418767
  33. ^ @DIANAKINGDOM (5 August 2021). "#ShalamarDianaWright 12/06/87-08/05/21" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  34. ^ https://twitter.com/DIANAKINGDOM/status/1423231257027223553/retweets/with_comments
  35. ^ "Billboard". 4 November 1995.
  36. ^ http://www.oftaawards.com/film-awards/2nd-annual-film-awards-1997/
  37. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20131007002002/http://www.outmusicawards.com/pages/honorees.html
  38. ^ a b Australian (ARIA) chart peaks:
  39. ^ a b "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 4 September 2011.
  40. ^ "RIAJ > The Record > February 1996 > Certified Awards (December 1995)" (PDF). Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  41. ^ "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 1 January 2014.
  42. ^ "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 1 January 2014.
  43. ^ "Diana King – US Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  44. ^ "Diana King – US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  45. ^ "Diana King – US Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  46. ^ "Diana King – UK Chart". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  47. ^ "Diana King – Dutch chart". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  48. ^ "Diana King – Flemish Chart". ultratop.be. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  49. ^ "Diana King – Walloon Chart". ultratop.be. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  50. ^ "Diana King – French Chart". lescharts.com. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  51. ^ "Diana King – German Chart". officialcharts.de. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  52. ^ "Diana King – Austrian chart". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  53. ^ "Diana King – Swiss chart". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  54. ^ "Diana King – Swedish chart". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  55. ^ "Diana King – Norwegian chart". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  56. ^ "Diana King – Finish chart". finnishcharts.com. 14 February 2015.
  57. ^ "Diana King – New Zealand Chart". charts.nz. Retrieved 14 February 2015.

External links[edit]