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Gappy Ranks

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Biography

Recalling the '90s -- the heyday of British artists like Maxi Priest and Bitty McLean -- singer Gappy Ranks brings U.K. reggae to the world. Born Jacob Lee Williams, the London-based artist was struggling to keep from being homeless when his career began, but working with radio and playing numerous live shows helped him step up. In 2009 he signed with Greensleeves, releasing his debut album for the label, Put the Stereo On, in 2010. The throwback effort was filled with nostalgia for the reggae of the '60s, but his 2011 release, Thanks & Praise, was more forward-thinking, featuring many dancehall cuts and a sure R&B influence. His 2013 release, Shining Hope, continued to blend genres. Released by the VP imprint Hot Coffee Music, it included the Bob Marley tribute "Everything's Gonna Be Alright." In 2014 he collaborated with producer Tom Chasteen for Gappy Ranks Meets Dub Club, a set of six new songs and four dub mixes released by the Stones Throw label. The German production crew Jugglerz and American vocalist J Boog both landed on his 2016 Hot Coffee LP, Guide Me. A year later, he returned with his eighth studio album, Pure Badness. ~ David Jeffries
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