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Millie Small

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Millie (born Millicent Dolly May Small, 6 October 1946, in Clarendon, Jamaica) — often known as “Little Millie Small” — is best known as the singer of the 1964 hit, My Boy Lollipop.

Millie was the daughter of a sugar plantation overseer. In her teens, she was part of a duo called “Roy and Millie” (with Roy Panton) and was recording for Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One record label. They had a minor local hit with “We’ll Meet.”

In late 1963 she was taken to London by Chris Blackwell to make her fourth recording, an Ernest Ranglin rearrangement of “My Boy Lollipop”, which had originally been recorded and released by white R&B singer Barbie Gaye in late 1956, becoming a minor hit in the New York area.

Released in March 1964, Small’s cover was a massive hit, reaching number two both in the UK Singles Chart and in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Including singles sales, album usage and compilation inclusions, the song has since sold more than seven million copies worldwide.

“Lollipop” turned Millie into an instant international star, performing with the Beatles on the Fab Four’s BBC-TV special. Then hosting her own TV special on Finnish National Television. She also performed on the British TV Show “Ready, Steady, Go” (These can be seen on YouTube.com), the ABC-TV Show “Shindig”, and had a starring role in a BBC-TV dramatic presentation.

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