Ah, what a divine, rich voice backed by luscious melodies! Hugh Beres Hammond was born the 9th of 10 children on August 28, 1955, in Annotto Bay, Saint Mary, Jamaica. Another artist who has been entertaining us for decades - more than 40 years - Hammond probably saw his greatest success in the 1990s but has had a resurgence in the last few years! His passionate, soulful, romantic ballads establish him as one of the top Jamaican lovers’ rock artists, appealing to young and old alike, with some even calling him the "Otis Redding of Reggae".
Beres Hammond was inspired by Jamaican singers Peter Tosh, Ken Boothe and Alton Ellis as well as by American jazz and soul artists like Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye & Otis Redding, thanks to his dad’s collection. He broke onto the international reggae scene in the 1980s with two hits in the light dancehall style: “Groovy Little Thing” and “What One Dance Can Do”.
Also wonderful with gospel and with uplifting conscious tunes, Beres Hammond is credited with the most popular reggae song of 1990/1991, “Putting Up a Resistance”. Perhaps his best known song in the U.S. came in about 1991 with the enormous international dancehall hit “Tempted to Touch”. “Love from a Distance” in 1996 was a masterpiece album (in my opinion) with its lush melodies and soulful emotion. Not one to slow down, Beres Hammond continues to treat us to albums, with 2001’s “Music is Life” , followed in 2004 by “Love Has No Boundaries”, the wonderful “A Moment in Time” in 2008, and his latest masterpiece, "One Love, One Life" in 2012, which has been nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album (to be decided in January 2014),
In 2013 he was awarded the Order of Jamaica (OJ) by the Jamaican government in recognition of his "exceptional and dedicated contribution to the Jamaican music industry."
A live Beres Hammond performance is a complete treat. Enthusiastic crowds sing along LOUDLY to favorites, making for a lot of fun. I try to catch his appearances whenever possible. If you’re not in love, you’ll wish you were when he opens his mouth to sing. When the world seems to be falling apart, put on some Beres Hammond and let him melt away your troubles! In fact, I’m heading to listen now.