Spice (musician)

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Spice Florida 2019.jpg
Spice performing in April 2019
Grace Latoya Hamilton

(1982-08-06) 6 August 1982 (age 37)
St. Catherine, Jamaica
  • Deejay
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
Years active2000–present
Musical career
Associated acts

Grace Latoya Hamilton (born 6 August 1982),[1] known professionally as Spice, is a Jamaican dancehall recording artist, singer and songwriter. Beginning her career in the early 2000s, she had her first major success with the controversial single "Romping Shop" with Vybz Kartel in 2009.

Spice's debut EP So Mi Like It, which included the hit single of the same name, was released in 2014 through VP Records. In 2018, she joined the cast of VH1's reality television series Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta. Later that year, she released her first full-length project, a mixtape titled Captured, which debuted at number one on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.

Early life[edit]

Grace Latoya Hamilton was born at the Spanish Town Hospital in St. Catherine, Jamaica and raised in Portmore.[2] Her father died when she was nine years old.[3] As a child, she used to attend her church regularly and lead the choir. She had spent part of her childhood living with her grandparents in Finsbury Park, London, where she also attended school before returning to Jamaica.[4] While a student in St. Catherine High School, she frequently participated in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) festival in the music category and earned several medals throughout the years. Although she wanted to become a chartered accountant, she decided to pursue a music career.[5] Following that, she enrolled at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts to study music and drama.[6] She then began experimenting with dancehall music and soon after generated interest in her community with her deejaying abilities at local stage shows.


2000–2007: Career beginnings[edit]

Spice made her debut when she was given the opportunity to perform at the annual dancehall festival Sting in 2000. It was her first major appearance on a stage show and she earned several encores from the crowd.[7] During this early stage of her career, Spice went on to gain a reputation for her performing abilities, despite not having any hit record.

While on tour in the UK, Spice earned the attention of Baby Cham, who later introduced her to producer Dave Kelly. From there, she released a string of singles for Kelly's record label Madhouse Records, including her first single for Madhouse entitled "Complain (Mi Gone)", then followed by her singles on the Bad Gal riddim, "Right There (Fix Me Good)" featuring Toi and "Hype". At that time, she was featured on Jimmy Cliff's "I Want I Do I Get" from his album Black Magic (2004) and on Beenie Man's "Hot" from his album Concept of Life (2006). For her first hit single, Spice versioned the popular Eighty Five riddim to create "Fight Over Man", which became popular in the dancehall.

2008–2012: Breakthrough and continued success[edit]

In late 2008, Spice collaborated with fellow dancehall artist Vybz Kartel on the single "Romping Shop", which samples "Miss Independent" by Ne-Yo.[8] The song quickly achieved international recognition, receiving immense rotation on mainstream urban stations in the US. "Romping Shop" spent 15 weeks on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, peaking at number 76.[9] Shortly after its release, the song was banned by the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation due to its explicit lyrical content.[10] "Romping Shop" was ranked at number 9 on both Pitchfork's list of the "50 Best Dancehall Songs of All Time"[11] and Billboard's "12 Best Dancehall & Reggaeton Choruses of the 21st Century".[12]

In 2009, Spice received the Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) Award for "Female Deejay of the Year". At the Youth View Awards in Jamaica, she won three awards: "Best Female Performer", "Favourite Local Female Artiste" and "Young, Hot & Hype Female".[13] In July 2009, she signed to VP Records for a multi-album deal.[14] She again received the "Female Deejay of the Year" award at the 2010 EME Awards.[15] Her single "Slim vs. Fluffy" featuring dancehall artist Pamputtae peaked at number 1 on the Canadian Dancehall/Reggae Singles charts.[16] That year she also released her single "Jim Screechie". In 2011, Spice was featured on Gappy Ranks's "Whatever We Like", released as a bonus track on his album Thanks & Praise. She later released a remix for her song "Fun" featuring rapper Missy Elliott[17][18][19] and collaborated with Mýa on the single "Take Him Out" from Mýa's sixth album K.I.S.S. (Keep It Sexy & Simple).[20][21][22] Spice also performed the song with Mýa at Reggae Sumfest that year. A music video for "Take Him Out" was released in 2012.

2013–2016: So Mi Like It and other projects[edit]

Spice performing at Reggae Sumfest 2013

In October 2013, Spice released her single "So Mi Like It", which garnered worldwide recognition despite not entering any official charts. The song's accompanying music video has received over 80 million views on Vevo, becoming the most viewed music video by a female Jamaican artist.[23] The song was included in the Ragga Ragga Ragga 2014 compilation album,[24] alongside her singles "Go Go" and "All The Way" with Elephant Man. A remix of "So Mi Like It" featuring rapper Busta Rhymes was later released on his mixtape Catastrophic 2.[25]

Spice starred as Candy in her first theatrical feature film "Destiny", which was released on 2 April 2014.[26][27][28] She also recorded the song "No Push Over" for the film's soundtrack. Her debut extended play So Mi Like It, named after the single of the same name, was released through VP Records on 2 December 2014.[29] It debuted at number 14 on the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart.[30] The EP features five songs, including her hits "So Mi Like It" and "Conjugal Visit" featuring Vybz Kartel.[31][32] The music video for "Conjugal Visit" garnered over 2 million views on WorldStarHipHop within one day. The same month, she was featured along with soca artist Bunji Garlin on rapper ASAP Ferg's song "Jolly" from his mixtape Ferg Forever.[33] In May 2015, Spice released her single "Needle Eye", which serves as a tribute to Shabba Ranks's 1987 single of the same name.[34]

In May 2016, Spice was featured alongside Jeremih on Kid Ink's single "Nasty".[35] The next month, she released her single "Indicator", based on a dance move of the same name. For 2016's Red Bull Culture Clash, Spice joined forces with Mixpak and won the clash over Wiz Khalifa & Taylor Gang and others. At the MOBO Awards, Spice was the only female nominated for "Best Reggae Act" and the first female dancehall artist ever nominated in this category.

2017–present: Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta and Captured[edit]

In April 2017, Spice released her single "Sheet". In June 2017, she appeared on a remix of Jax Jones's "You Don't Know Me". In August 2017, she was featured alongside Sean Kingston and Lady Leshurr on Charlie Sloth's "I Can Do" from his album The Plug.

In 2018, Spice joined the cast of VH1's reality TV show Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.[36] That year, Spice revealed that she is in a legal dispute with VP Records over the release of her debut album.[37] Her debut mixtape, Captured, which is also her first full-length release, was self-released on 2 November 2018. The mixtape debuted at number one on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart. Its lead single "Black Hypocrisy", which addresses the issue of colorism,[38] also debuted at number one on the Reggae Digital Song Sales chart.[39]

Other ventures[edit]

Spice has ventured into other businesses and industries. In June 2010, she opened a sports bar and lounge called "8 Ball", located in her hometown Portmore.[40] In 2017, Spice signed an endorsement deal with Sperone Moscato Jamaica, an Italian-based wine company.


In 2009, Spice opened her clothing boutique Spicey Couture in Kingston.[41] She later opened a branch in May Pen, Clarendon and in other locations in Jamaica. The store offers shipping to the US, UK and Canada through its website. She also owns a beauty salon called "Spicey Salon" in Kingston.

In July 2015, Spice launched a clothing line as part of the promotion of her single "Needle Eye".[42] The line features T-shirts and underwear printed with the title of the single.


In 2018, Spice founded the Grace Hamilton Women Empowerment Foundation (GHWEF) in Jamaica. The foundation was set up in order to "uplift young women and groom them towards success".[43] The foundation aims to enrich women through business and entrepreneurship.



Year Film Role Notes
2014 Destiny Candy Film debut
Year Title Role Notes
2017–present Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta Herself Guest Star (Season 6)
Supporting Cast (Season 7)
Main Cast (Season 8)

Awards and nominations[edit]

EME Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2007 Herself Female DJ of the Year Nominated [44]
2009 Won [45]
2010 Won [46]
International Artist of the Year Nominated [47]
2011 Female DJ of the Year Nominated [48]
"Jim Screechie" Dancehall Song of the Year Nominated

MOBO Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2016 Herself Best Reggae Act Nominated [49]

21st Hapilos Digital Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2016 "Needle Eye" Dancehall Single of the Year Won [50]
2017 "Indicator (Soca Remix)"
(featuring Bunji Garlin)
Top Collaboration Nominated [51]
Herself Top Female Artist Won [52]


  1. ^ "Spice (Grace Latoya Hamilton) | Artist | Riddim-ID". riddim-id.com. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Meet Grace 'Spice' Hamilton". Jamaica Star. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  3. ^ Grant, Jasmine. "Tommie Has a Heart to Heart With Spice About Her Issues With Alcohol". VH1 News. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Spice & Assassin on Vybz Kartel & how to cheat - Westwood". YouTube. 5 May 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Fun Facts about SPICE". Jamaica Star. Shereita Grizzle. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Spice's 'Destiny' leads to movie role". Jamaica Star. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  7. ^ Russell-Garcia, Sherina. "Ms. Grace "Spice" Hamilton". Caribbean Posh. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  8. ^ Serwer, Jesse. "Vybz Kartel featuring Spice, "Ramping Shop"". Billboard. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  9. ^ "STAR of the Month: 'Ramping Shop' was Kartel's idea - Spice". Jamaica Star. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Slack song ban - Kartel's 'Rampin' Shop' among explicit lyrics outlawed". Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  11. ^ "The 50 Best Dancehall Songs of All Time". Pitchfork. p. 5. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  12. ^ "The 12 Best Dancehall & Reggaeton Choruses of the 21st Century". Billboard. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  13. ^ "Young, gifted and hype! - Youth View Awards: the red carpet to glory". Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Spice Lands VP Records Deal". BigUp Radio. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  15. ^ "EME Awards 2010". Reggae Vibes. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Canada To Get 'Slim vs. Fluffy' Showdown". Jahkno. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  17. ^ Peck, Jamie. "New Video: Spice Featuring Missy Elliott, 'Fun'". MTV. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  18. ^ Cragg, Michael. "New music: Spice feat. Missy Elliott – Fun". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  19. ^ "New Music: Spice f/ Missy Elliott – 'Fun'". Rap-Up. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  20. ^ "Video: Mya f/ Spice – 'Take Him Out'". Rap-Up. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  21. ^ "Still A Banger: Mya Ft Spice "Take Him Out" Music Video". Bossip. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  22. ^ Rubenstein, Jenna Hally. "New Video: Mya Featuring Spice, 'Take Him Out'". MTV. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  23. ^ "Spice celebrates 120 million YouTube views". Jamaica Star. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  24. ^ "Ragga Ragga Ragga 2014 - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  25. ^ "Spice does remix with Busta". GTVibes. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  26. ^ "Spice's 'Destiny' leads to movie role". Jamaica Star. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  27. ^ "VIDEO: Destiny, a truly Jamaican film". The Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  28. ^ Brooks, Sadeke. "Jamaican Artistes Face 'Destiny' - Christopher Martin Plays Major Role In New Jamaican Film". Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  29. ^ "So Mi Like It - EP by Spice on iTunes". iTunes. Apple. Archived from the original on 8 December 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  30. ^ "Top Reggae Albums & Songs - December 20, 2014". Billboard. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  31. ^ Block, Justin. "Watch Spice and Vybz Kartel's "Conjugal Visit" Video". Complex. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  32. ^ Trammell, Matthew. "Spice & Vybz Kartel Dagger and Duet Behind Bars in "Conjugal Visit"". The Fader. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  33. ^ "Just Like Candy: Spice Gets Sweet with A$AP Ferg + Bunji Garlin on "Jolly"". LargeUp. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  34. ^ "Spice's Needle Eye video hot online". Jamaica Star. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  35. ^ "New Music: Kid Ink feat. Jeremih & Spice – 'Nasty'". Rap-Up.com. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  36. ^ "Will You Be Watching? Meet The Newest Cast Member Of LHHATL: Dancehall Diva "Spice" [VIDEO]". Bossip. 8 March 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  37. ^ "No Album Until… Spice Spills The Tea On Why Fans Will Have To Wait For Her Album Debut! – QueenZ". www.queenzofficial.com. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  38. ^ "Dancehall Legend Spice Is Combating Colorism". Paper Magazine. 13 February 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  39. ^ "Reggae Digital Song Sales". Billboard. 29 October 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  40. ^ "Spice dishes out more than just sexual content". T&T Guardian. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  41. ^ "Spice Up Your Life with 'Spicey Couture'". Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  42. ^ Francis, Kshema. "Spice launches "Needle Eye" clothing line". Irie FM. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  43. ^ "Spice to 'build' a foundation". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  44. ^ "EME awards 2006 - Tanya Stevens leads the way with four nominations". YardFlex.com. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  45. ^ "Glitzy EME awards in Pegasus' garden". Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  46. ^ "On Location: EME Awards". BET. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  47. ^ "Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) Awards 2010". United Reggae. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  48. ^ "KARTEL, MAVADO LEAD EME AWARDS NOMINATIONS". DANCEHALLREGGAEWESEH.COM. 15 February 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  49. ^ "Spice among 5 vying for MOBO Best Reggae Act". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  50. ^ "Instagram post by Grace Hamilton • Aug 25, 2016 at 3:37pm UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  51. ^ "21st Hapilos Digital Music Awards". Issuu. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  52. ^ "Instagram post by Grace Hamilton • Aug 23, 2017 at 4:41pm UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 5 January 2018.

External links[edit]