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Bitty Mclean Biography


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Bitty Mclean, biography

Singer - Born, 1972

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Bitty Mclean Biography

A much loved UK reggae talent with an astonishing voice and unnerving ability to pen a pop smash, the early 90s saw Bitty McLean launch himself into the high end of the British charts with a string of top ten hits.

Born in 1972, the youngest of six children and so called because of his small stature at birth, Bittys earliest memories were punctuated with the music he would hear courtesy of his fathers sound system. Tutored by the greats from The Clovers, Nat King Cole, Jackie Edwards, John Holt, Johnny Clarke, Bob Marley, Burning Spear and Justin Hinds, it wasnt long before the young McLean was beginning to emulate his heroes by singing over Jamaican Dub and Instrumental riddim tracks accompanied by his brother. It would still be a couple of years before he graduated beyond the microphone and family stereo set-up. By the early 80s and inspired by the new dancehall sounds of Little John, Barrington Levy, Sugar Minnott, Black Uhuru and Michael Prophet, the teenage McLean soon began to gain notoriety performing on some of Birminghams top sound systems.

By the time it came to leaving school McLean had his heart set on following his dream of pursuing a career in music. Bitty McLean Enrolling on a sound engineering course at a local college, he was taught by lecturer Alan Caves who had worked with local reggae band UB40. Caves saw Bittys potential and subsequently put Bitty forward for a job as tape op at UB40s DEP International Studio and by the start of the 90s McLean had not only co-produced but played and sang on UB40s internationally successful album Promises And Lies which had world sales in excess of 8 million. From the start and during quiet times in the studio Bitty would find time to record his own material and it was one of these late night sessions Dedicated To the One I Love, Here I Stand, True True True and It Keeps Rainin were all recorded. With an advance of 500 pounds courtesy of Ali Campbell, Bitty pressed up 500 white labels one of which he sent to radio promotions exec Neil Ferris who instantly saw its potential. Setting up the Brilliant Recording Company as an outlet for McLean, Ferris set to work introducing the UK to this unknown vocal talent. By the end of 1994 McLean had notched up 3 top ten singles with It Keeps Rainin (number 2), Here I Stand (number 10) and Dedicated To The One I Love (number 6) with similar success around the world. The subsequent years saw Bitty accrue a fearsome catalogue of top 30 singles, as well as playing three UK arena tours with the likes of UB40, Wet Wet Wet and Simply Red.

On Bond Street the last album from Bitty McLean, was full circle as he returned to the original influence of the music he listened to as a child. Duke Reids Treasure Isle rhythms formed the basis of the album with cool Rocksteady tempos and beautiful arrangements courtesy of the (late) legendary saxophonist Tommy McCook. Bitty complimented these 30 year old backing tracks as Artist and Enginneer with such elegance it was hard to believe he was not there when the tracks were originally recorded. 2006 finds Bitty Mclean in a major collaboration with the worlds greatest riddim section no other than Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare.The trio are recording MOVIN' ON, a brand new studio album alongside some of Jamaica's finest Musicians. The album is due to be released the Fall of 2007.

The first release finds Bitty on Sly and Robbies "Hold On to What You Got" riddim in unmistakable "Bitty lovers mode" Mr McLean's songwriting is impecable as always. A double AA side The Real Thing/All That I Have has risen to the top of Reggae charts throughout the World. The follow up single "Lately" on the TAXI riddim, is a cover of Stevie Wonder's hit. It is set for release in April 2007 and has already been hailed in dances...


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