Billy Ocean (born Leslie Charles; January 21, 1950) is a British recording artist who had a string of R&B international pop hits in the 1970s and 1980s. He was the most popular British R&B singer-songwriter of the early to mid-1980s. After scoring his first four UK top 20 successes, seven years passed before he accumulated a series of transatlanticsuccesses, including three U.S. number ones. In 1985, Ocean won the Grammy Awardfor Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for his worldwide hit, "Caribbean Queen", and in 1987 was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male.[
In 2002, the University of Westminster, London awarded Ocean an honorary doctorate of music. In 2010, Ocean was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the MOBO Awards. On July 29, 2011, Ocean became a Companion of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, presented to him by Sir Paul McCartney.
He is a member of the Rastafari movement.
Ocean was born as Leslie Charles in Fyzabad, Trinidad and Tobago, to Grenadianparents, and moved to Romford, Essex, England, with his family at the age of eight.Ocean's musical influence came at an early age of his life as his father was a musician, and Ocean realised he was in line to follow those ambitions as he was growing up. During his teenage years, he sang regularly in London clubs while also working as a tailor in London's Savile Row. He released his first single in 1972 on Spark Records as Les Charles. He was originally discovered by his first manager, John Morphew, who recorded a double A side single at Pye Studios in London with a full orchestra, However, the ballad singing style of Les was going out of fashion and Morphew was unable to get any major label to release it. It remains unissued. Les's father, who countersigned the management contract as Les was under 18 asked Morphew to release him from contract which he did without penalty.
Ocean took his stage name from the Ocean Estate, Stepney in London's East End, where he was living at the time. In 1976, herecorded his first album, Billy Ocean, with its first single release, "Love Really Hurts Without You," charting at number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and number 22 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. He enjoyed club success from the songs "Are You Ready" and "Stay The Night" from the album City Limit - both of which were later covered by La Toya Jackson. More successes ensued, including "L.O.D. (Love On Delivery)". He also wrote and composed songs for other artists. In 1981, he scored the U.S. R&B chart with "Nights (Feel Like Getting Down)".