15 June 1972 (age 45)
Chuck Fender was born Leshorn Whitehead on June 15, 1972 in Brooklyn, New York. He always had a special love for music, making a hobby of impersonating some of his favourite entertainers as a youngster. It didn't take him long to decide to pursue his dream in the music business.
Frequently travelling between Jamaica and New York to hone his deejaying skills, he spent most of his time at King Jammy's studio, where he released his debut single 'Shut Yuh Mouth When Bad Man Talking' on the Tight Clothes riddim for John John (King Jammys' son). He followed that up with 'The Glue'.
Producer King Jammy was impressed with the DJ's talent and invited him to record on his label. It was then that he recorded his first big hit, 'Jah It's All About You' on the one-drop Money Money riddim. Released in 1996, the single climbed several charts in Jamaica and across the Caribbean. The video for the song got regular rotation on all the top music video programmes.
Shortly after, Chuck Fenda began recording for several producers, including Shocking Vibes where he did 'Fat Round Yah'.
In 1997, Fender decided to relocate to Jamaica to focus on his career, settling at King Jammys studio and working hard at establishing himself as a strong force in the dancehall.
In 1998, he recorded his next big hit, 'Mi See It Clear' (Rat Race) on the Joint riddim. But his biggest hit was yet to come. The single 'Bada Bada' made it to the number one slot on Jamaican charts and in the top ten on various Caribbean charts. 'Bada Bada' was a staple in the dancehall and was on the daily playlist for several radio disc jockeys. Engineers Ward 21 of Jammys studio created a riddim of the same name which spawned several dancehall favourites.
Chuck Fenda was on a roll and he started spewing out more dancehall hits like 'Right Time Come' on the Ticks riddim, then 'Lift It Up' on the popular Bellyas riddim, with a video that created a buzz.
His songs were on regular rotation on the airwaves while he kept himself in the eyes of the public by 'mashing up' nuff stage shows.
In 2000 he joined the Fifth Element Records family, where the real revolution began to take place in the DJ's life. His five-year stint with Fifth Element resulted in a noticeable change and a refreshing maturity.
Embracing the Rastafarian way of life, Chuck Fenda adopted the ‘poor people defender' cause and focused on creating heartfelt lyrics about the plight of the poor, while revealing his Afromantic side in the beautiful lyrics he penned glorifying the black woman.
He became famous for tunes like the number one 'Life Ruff Out Deh', 'Better Days' and ‘I Swear', as well as 'Prayer', 'Can't Stop Try', 'Respect Mama', 'Stick To One Man', 'Bun The Fire Red', 'How Do You Feel' and 'Watching Me', to name a few, all part of his explosive, awe-inspiring album ‘Better Days' on the Fifth Element label that dropped in 2004.
Today, Fender is even more aware of the need of the oppressed of this land to have a voice championing their cause – and he has pledged to be that voice, both in word and deed.
His personal objective is to take the youths off the streets, knowing that if he can change even one youth through his songs, then there is hope.
Through his label Living Fire Records, The Poor People Defender intends to make a powerful impact on the world stage. Through his songs, performances and young protégés, Chuck Fenda has cemented himself as one of the few that will play a great role in the revolution of Jamaica's music across the globe.
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