Diana King celebrates 49th birthday

Jamaican songbird Diana King (Photo: Nassau Guardian)

🎵🎵🎵 Oh lawd, have mercy, mercy, mercy… Watch dem jus a falla we, falla we, falla weh! 🎵🎵🎵

Jamaican singer, songwriter and human rights activist Diana King celebrates her 49th birthday today, November 8.

Born in the old capital, Spanish Town in 1970, King shot to international stardom with her chart-topping hit Shy Guy in 1995.

Balancing her soulful R&B vocals on a rebellious reggae beat, Shy Guy stands as Diana King’s most successful song – peaking at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Shy Guy, the lead single from her debut Tougher Than Love album, went on to sell over 5 million copies worldwide and was served as a mainstay addition to the original 1995 Bad Boys movie soundtrack.

Cover art for Diana King’s 1995 debut album Tougher Than Love (Photo: Amazon.com)

In an emotional June 2012 post, King came out as a lesbian via Facebook. While she admitted she had known of her sexuality since her 20s, she said it took her a decade for her to be comfortable, out of fear of backlash towards her son and daughter.

“I answer now, not because it’s anyone’s business but because it feels right with my soul and I believe by not answering or hiding it all these years somehow makes it appear as if I am ashamed of it or that I believe it is wrong,” she remarked.

Six months later, King was honoured for her bravery in December 2012 as she was presented with the prestigious Vanguard Award at the Out Music Awards in Las Vegas.

King stands to this day as the first Jamaican artist to ever publicly come out and states it’s one of her proudest moments.

Happy birthday, Diana, from all of us at BUZZ!