Monday, 9 December 2013

TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY: Tessanne Chin's fab rise from reggae-rock songbird to int'l pop-culture phenom

REASON TO SMILE: The island songstress is a red-hot hit on the international stage. Below, during an interview with hubby, Michael Cuffe.

Jamaicans have a way of captivating the world -- from bobsledders on ice to Fraser-Pryce. So it's hardly a surprise that the meteoric rise of Tessanne Chin, the 29-year-old reggae-rock goddess who is enjoying a fabulous winning streak on the NBC juggernaut The Voice, has so intensely captured the international public's attention. People are simply blown away by her talent and magnetism. 

With her powerhouse vocals, radiant charm and island-girl twang, Chin continues to outshine the competition week after week, and has now landed a well-deserved semi-final spot (Top 5). If you ask me, she couldn't have chosen a more perfect fit for her lush vocals when she kicked off her stint in the contest with an awesome take on Pink's empowering ballad "Try," wholly impressing judges Cee-Lo Green and Christina Aguilera before making her way to Team Levine. 

Now it's all about Team Tessanne. From social media to print ads to late-night voting parties, Jamaicans at home and abroad are beside themselves with glee. Sheer national pride as one of our own proudly struts her stuff while waving the black, gold and green before a viewing public (in the hundreds of millions, thank you very much) watching across the globe. 
Already there's talk that Tessanne is destined for "crossover success" when the show wraps, new admirers are discovering her early work (like her debut disc Between The Words) and songwriting brilliance thanks to Amazon and 

"Hideaway" aside, original pieces like her Tami Chynn duet "You and Me" and her deft interpretation of standards and popular hits proved to me long ago that Tessie had "it." 

But right now it's all about rooting for the ace songstress to bring home the gold on the hit musical series. "If you go to Jamaica you'll understand what it means to our people to see one of us representing on an international stage, like Tessanne is representing," the singer's UK-based mom, Christine Weston, tells Life & Style magazine. "She's just being herself, being a real Jamaican and not trying to be anything else." 

I couldn't agree more. Perhaps the biggest lesson we can all learn from Tessanne Chin is to trust your instincts (and Shaggy!), stay true to yourself, and be fabulously melodic along the way.

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