JM | Jul 25, 2022

Spice’s journey to become ‘Queen of the Dancehall’

Mikala Johnson

Mikala Johnson / Our Today

Reading Time: 4 minutes
With a tiara to match, Downsound Entertainment CEO Joe Bogbanovich crowns Spice as ‘Queen of Dancehall’ at Reggae Sumfest’s festival night one in Montego Bay, St James on July 22, 2022. (OUR TODAY photo)

S-P-I-C-E, that’s her name! It’s official, the queen of stage is now the crowned queen of dancehall.

Dancehall artiste Spice was conferred the title of queen of the dancehall on Festival Night 1 at this year’s staging of Reggae Sumfest.

On Friday night, Sumfest host Miss Kitty celebrated Spice for her commitment to her craft and overcoming obstacles in her life before surprising her with the crowning moment.

“As a Queen of stage and Queen of Dancehall, we are here to crown you tonight. From St Catherine to the world, the 2022 reigning queen of dancehall,” Miss Kitty said as Downsound Entertainment CEO Joe Bogdanovich entered the stage with a silver crystal crown to bestow on Spice.

Officially crowned ‘Queen of Dancehall’ Spice delivers at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay during night one of Reggae Sumfest on July 22, 2022. (OUR TODAY photo)

After presenting her with her jewel-encrusted tiara, the DownSound Boss took a few seconds to express how extraordinary the newly minted queen is at her craft.

Reggae Sumfest has been a part of Jamaica’s dancehall history as it has often presented a stage for upcoming artistes and is responsible for many history-making moments like this one over the course of the country’s rich music legacy.

Spice and her son ‘Nicho’ at Reggae Sumfest. (OUR TODAY photo)

The queen of dancehall has one of the most inspiring journeys when it comes to building a career in dancehall. Spice entered the game when there were few leading female artistes in a very male-dominated genre. She worked consistently and assiduously to take ahold of and keep her grip on the industry, even after more female artistes entered the dancehall scene.

2000: Spice gets her big buss

In 2000, 18-year-old Spice was still an emerging name within the dancehall space. Despite this, she scored an early break when asked to perform at Sting. It was no doubt a big moment for Spice, although she was a newcomer, the crowd responded well due to the flamboyance of her lyrics and grandiose stage presence.

2003: Putting out her first single

Spice was introduced to Jamaican record producer Dave Kelly of Madhouse Records. After meeting Kelly, Spice signed with the label to release a series of singles, including her debut Complain (Mi Gone), over the Pretty Pretty Rhythm. Despite releasing a number of singles, Spice wasn’t able to make it on to charts until 2009.

2007: Feuding With the king of dancehall

By 2007, Spice had become a household name and a regular at Sting. The dispute between Beenie Man and Spice began with an argument over who should be considered the queen of the dancehall. Things escalated when Spice was allegedly physically assaulted by someone from Beenie Man’s entourage.

2008: An unforgettable Duet

Spice had her first major success with the controversial single Ramping Shop with Vybz Kartel. The track is a sample of the original Miss Independent by American artiste Ne-Yo. The song peaked at number 76 on the Billboard Hot R&B and Hip-Hop charts, even though it was banned by the Broadcasting Commission in Jamaica for its raunchy lyrics.

2009: Spice signs to VP Records

Following the success of Ramping Shop, Spice signed a five-album deal with VP Records. Since signing with VP Records, the relationship between the label and the artistes has been a very rocky one.

Spice was not able to produce an album while signed to VP and the the artiste has expressed her frustration over the years.

2014: Spice’s first EP released

In 2014, there was finally one release, Spice’s first EP, So Mi Like It. The five-track EP, featured Vybz Kartel on the track Conjugal Visit. The other four tracks were GoGo, Wine Inna Di Dance, Like a Man and So Mi Like It.

2016: Red Bull Culture Clash

Spice appeared on the Red Bull culture clash staged with Mixpak. Mixpak featured popular dancehall acts such as Kranium, Popcaan and Tony Matternhorn who were crowned the winning team after four explosive rounds.

2018: Joined the cast of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta

In 2018, Spice joined the cast of VH1’s reality television series Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta in season seven, after appearing as a guest star in season six.
In the summer of 2018, Spice posted pictures on her Instagram with much lighter skin. Many were stunned, but it turned out that the artiste’s appearance was part of a wider stunt to spark conversation surrounding skin bleaching and also a build up to the release of her single, Black Hypocrisy. The track made it to number one on both the iTunes and Reggae Singles charts.

After 18 years, her first mixtape is released

2018 was a busy year for Spice, her first full-length project, a mixtape titled Captured, was released independently and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.

2019: A part of one of the biggest remix

In October 2019, Spice appeared with Sean Paul on the remix of Stylo G’s Dumpling, which peaked at #3 on the Billboard Reggae Digital Song Sales chart. The same month, she released the single Tables Turn. In November, she was featured on Krept and Konan’s track First Time, alongside Tory Lanez. First Time became her first entry on the UK Singles Chart, where it debuted at number 63.

2020: Big hit ‘Rolling’

In February 2020, Spice released her first solo song of 2020, a single titled Rolling. The following month, she announced the release of her debut studio album on Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.

2021: Grammy nomination

Spice’s long-awaited album, 10, was officially released on August 6, 2021. The success of the album saw it being nominated for Best Reggae Album.

2022: Queen of the dancehall

Spice is officially crowned queen of the dancehall by Joe Bodanovich on stage at Reggae Sumfest.


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