Wayne Wonder

Wayne Wonder
Wonder performing in 2013
Wonder performing in 2013
Background information
Birth nameRoger Charles [1]
Born (1972-07-26) 26 July 1972 (age 49)
Buff Bay, Portland, Jamaica
OriginKingston, Jamaica
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active1985–present
LabelsVP Records

Roger Charles (born 26 July 1972), better known by his stage name Wayne Wonder, is a Jamaican reggae artist. While his early recordings were dancehall and reggae, he later moved towards hip hop and rap.[2] His most popular single is the 2003 hit "No Letting Go".


Early life

Wonder was born in Buff Bay, Portland, Jamaica.[2] He sang in Sunday school as a child,[3] Wayne attended Camperdown High School in eastern Kingston, and began songwriting at the age of 13, getting a major career break when he was given a regular weekly slot at Metro Media in Allman Town.[2]

Auditioning and debut album

He auditioned at Sonic Sounds studio, but while Sly Dunbar was impressed, his touring commitments with Black Uhuru prevented him from signing Wonder. He had more success, however, with King Tubby, who produced his first single, "Long and Lasting Love", in 1985, with two more following.[2][3] Wonder's career suffered a setback when Tubby was killed in 1988, and he recorded for several other record producers at Sonic Sound, enjoying a further hit with the Lloyd Dennis–produced "It's Over Now", leading to the release of his first album, One More Chance, although his success in this era was limited.

Second album: Part 2 and further releases

His fortunes improved when he began working with Dave Kelly, a friend from primary school, who had become resident sound engineer at Penthouse Studios.[2][3] The partnership enjoyed a string of hits, starting with "Saddest Day", and they also worked on Wonder's second album, Part 2.[3] His 1990 live performance of Alphaville's "Forever Young" was recorded and later released to Alphaville fans in a limited, cassette-only album entitled History.[4] He toured the UK in 1992 along with other Penthouse stars Marcia Griffiths, Tony Rebel, and Buju Banton.[5] He also recorded "Bonafide Love (Movie Star)" with Buju Banton, and wrote several early hits for him, including the controversial "Boom Bye Bye".[2] He toured again with Banton in 1994 as part of the Penthouse Showcase.[5] Wonder formed the band Alias along with Kelly, Baby Cham, Frisco Kid, and Frankie Sly, and later Entourage.[2]

Record label launch and further album releases

In 2000, Wonder launched his own record label, Singso, and his 2000 album Da Vibe saw him begin to incorporate hip hop into his sound.[3] He collaborated with several other major artists, including Jason Dalyrimple of Soul for Real, Foxy Brown, and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, and the move towards hip hop increased with his 2001 album Schizophrenic.[2][3]

Atlantic Records signing and international recognition

His career really took off internationally when he signed to Atlantic Records, achieving worldwide success with the song "No Letting Go" in 2003. The song is based on the Diwali riddim, which was also used by several other artists that year, such as Sean Paul, Lumidee and Missy Elliott. The single reached No. 11 in the US[6] and No. 3 in the UK.[1]

"No Letting Go" and the album No Holding Back were a major success on urban radio stations in the US, and this prompted the release of several compilation albums featuring older Wonder material, including Trojan Records' Inna Bashment Style: The Roots Of An Urban Warrior (2005).

Further releases

A new album, Foreva, was released in 2007.[2] It reached No. 6 on the US Top Reggae Albums chart.[7]

His album My Way was released in December 2012.[8][9] In October 2014, he featured on the Never Mind the Buzzcocks identity parade.[10]



Year Album US
Reggae Albums
Billboard 200
1989 One More Chance
1991 Wayne Wonder
1993 Don't Have To...
1995 All Original Bombshell
2000 Da Vibe
2001 Schizophrenic
2003 No Holding Back 2 29 10
2007 Foreva 6
2012 My Way

Compilations albums

Year Album
1989 Wayne Wonder & Sanchez Part 1
1990 Wayne Wonder & Sanchez Part 2
1999 Collectors Series
2002 Essential
2003 You Me And She
2005 Inna Bashment Style: The Roots of an Urban Warrior
2006 Reggae Chronicles
2013 Penthouse Flashback Series: Wayne Wonder, Vol. 1
2013 Penthouse Flashback Series: Wayne Wonder, Vol. 2


Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
1989 "You Send the Rain Away" (Pickout) One More Chance
2003 "No Letting Go" 21 26 37 31 3 23 24 3 11 No Holding Back
"Bounce Along" 60 69 42 19
2004 "Hold Me Now" (Thompson Twins) 50 First Dates: Love Songs from the Original Motion Picture
2006 "You" Single only
2007 "Gonna Love You" Foreva
"For My Love" (featuring Trina)
2012 "Caught Up" My Way
2014 "Let Me Love You Tonight" Sweet Songs
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  1. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 491–492. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Biography by Craig Harris". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Moskowitz, David V. (2006) Caribbean Popular Music: an Encyclopedia of Reggae, Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, and Dancehall, Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-33158-8, p. 319-20
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ a b Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0242-9, p. 320
  6. ^ a b c "allmusic (((Wayne Wonder > Chart & Awards > Billboard Singles )))". allmusic. Retrieved 6 September 2009.
  7. ^ "Allmusic ((( Wayne Wonder > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))".
  8. ^ "Dec date for Wayne's album", Jamaica Observer, 9 October 2012, retrieved 11 October 2012
  9. ^ Jackson, Kevin (2014) "New single, video from Wayne Wonder", Jamaica Observer, 16 May 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014
  10. ^ "Never Mind The Buzzcocks: Meet new host Rhod Gilbert", BBC, 6 October 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2015

External links