From ‘Heads High’ to ‘Bruk It Down’, Mr. Vegas has assembled an unshakable string of international classic reggae and dancehall releases.
Born Clifford Smith in Jamaica’s capital city, Kingston. Mr. Vegas developed a passion for music at an early age. It was customary for aspiring high school age singers to gather during lunch break to test new lyrics and share their talents with classmates.
Although he got his moniker for his glitzy style on the football/soccer pitch, Mr. Vegas earned it in the recording studio. His first hit, “Nike Air” (1997), recorded on the Playground Riddim for Jeremy Harding, only came about because Mr. Vegas successfully demanded that doctors removed the wiring in his jaw after a serious injury sustained not long before. Despite nursing the injured jaw, “Nike Air” raced to the top of the charts.
Mr. Vegas follow up with a smash hit on the Filthy Riddim. “Heads High”, took the world by storm. Led by its undeniable hook over the creeping bass line, “Heads High” reached #1 on the reggae charts in five continents.
The same year, Vegas won a MOBO Award here in the UK and MTV put the ‘Heads High’ video on heavy rotation. Powerhouse dancehall distributor Greensleeves Records signed on for his debut album the following year.
Vegas’s sophomore Greensleeves Records release, Damn Right (2001), confirmed him as a leading reggae dancehall artist from Jamaica. Damn Right included the now timeless favorite’s ‘Girls Time’, ‘She’s A Ho’ and the monster collaboration with Sean Paul, ‘Hot Gal Today’, which Vibe Magazine voted one of the best collaborations of all-time.
Throughout the years, Mr. Vegas has proved adept at catchy hooks, knowing just the right beats that will hit at the right time coupled with signature song writing. He has had countless chart toppers in Jamaica and dominated the major American, Japanese and European charts.
Over the years he has collaborated with the likes of Beyonce, Rihanna, Sergio Mendes, Pitbull, Snoop Lion and Nadia Rose, as well as countless fellow Reggae and Dancehall artists. To celebrate Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary, Mr. Vegas took to the studio to produce an all-star track, The Voices of Sweet Jamaica with a cast of reggae greats including Shaggy, U-Roy, Barrington Levy, Marcia Griffiths, Mac Dada and more. Proceeds of the recording went to benefit the children of Mustard Seed Communities in Kingston Jamaica, a charitable foundation that Mr. Vegas holds very dear to his heart.