Rhythm and blues from the master

BILLY Ocean's songs are so distinguished they've been embraced by music lovers across the world.Iconic in sound, as well as in lyrics, who could forget the invitation to get outta his dreams and into his car?And as they continue to receive extensive play across the airwaves they sound as fresh now as ever.

BILLY Ocean's songs are so distinguished they've been embraced by music lovers across the world.

Iconic in sound, as well as in lyrics, who could forget the invitation to get outta his dreams and into his car?

And as they continue to receive extensive play across the airwaves they sound as fresh now as ever.

With a career spanning 30 years, Billy has notched up a string of number ones across the UK, Europe and the US, even providing the theme track for a major 80s motion picture.


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Now he is back on the road again with the biggest tour he has done for more than 17 years, with Lowestoft fans set to be sprinkled with a touch of his Caribbean style when he he plays just one show at the Marina Theatre on Saturday, February 7.

Billy told The Journal he will be performing hits such as Love Really Hurts Without You, Suddenly and Caribbean Queen, as well as tracks from his new album Because I Love You with his 11-piece band.

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Out on February 2, the albumis an eclectic mix of ballads, reggae tunes and soca beats.

He said: 'I'm looking forward to seeing the response. I really and truly have always written my own songs. The songs I write are something very simple so people can sing along to them.

'I made the album at my studio in Grenada to give it more Caribbean flavour then brought it back to this country to add some other unique things.'

During his career, Billy, 58, has sold more than 30 million albums and singles worldwide, accumulated three US number ones and the UK number one When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Gets Going from the soundtrack The Jewel of the Nile, where famously his backing singers came in the form of its stars Michael Douglas and Danny De Vito.

Despite this he said he didn't focus on past success.

'My attitude is to keep going and not looking back. If you have success and dwell on the past you don't move from that part of your life so I've always looked ahead.

'For me, all these records have been fun and I always enjoy them as I work on them and I enjoy getting a lovely end.'

Choosing to take a break from touring during various industry changes and to concentrate on his three children growing up he launched his first tour for more than a decade in 2007 doing four shows. Last year he did 18 and this year there are 41 dates, proving his decision to hit the road again was a popular choice.

'The best way of finding out if it was the right thing to do was to try and test the water and to see what response I got.

'I didn't expect it to be so positive and I just give thanks for that.'

He also takes pride in his responsibility as patron for Tech Music Schools in London, where he regularly gives seminars to the students, and the honorary doctorate of music he was given from the University of Westminster in London.

'I kind of treasure that in the sense that it is academic recognition of the things I have done in the music business,' he said.

Although Billy has never visited Lowestoft before, he said he planned to have a run along the beach while he was here, and if fans look closely, they will be able to recognise his daughter Cherie as one of his backing singers.

After the tour Billy is busy promoting his album and the single, also of the same name, which is out in April.

It will be available to buy at the Marina Theatre, as well as online and in music stores.

For tickets to see Billy, telephone the Marina box office on 01502 533200.

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