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C J Lewis

b. Stephen Lewis, London, England. Lewis shadowed the sound systems around London with his childhood friend Philip Leo, and soon established himself as a respected DJ. Leo himself began a recording career as a singer-songwriter with two successful releases for Fashion Records. For his third release, ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’, a reworking of Frankie Lymon And The Teenagers’ 1956 chart-topper, he introduced Lewis to a wider audience. The single had considerable exposure through ffrr Records, and narrowly missed reaching the UK pop chart. In 1990, Lewis appeared on a number of releases, notably in combination with Janet Lee Davis for a version of Keith And Enid’s ‘Worried Over You’, while with Leo he recorded a version of the Sugar Minott hit, ‘Good Thing Going’. In 1993, the duo recorded the reggae chart-topper ‘Hypnotic Love’, which was number 1 for seven weeks. This success resulted in Lewis signing with Black Market/MCA, with Leo as co-producer. The arrangement led to crossover success when ‘Sweets For My Sweet’ peaked at number 3 in the UK Top 10. He followed the hit with a Top 10 cover version of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Uptight (Everything’s Alright)’, Emotions’ ‘Best Of My Love’ and an original composition, ‘Dollars’, utilizing Prince Buster’s ‘Ten Commandments’ rhythm. In 1994, Lewis toured Europe, Asia and the Far East and began working on his second album for the label. He continued to play the live circuit on a 28-day tour of the UK, resulting in an award for Best P.A. Of The Year In Britain. His popularity in Japan resulted in his second album selling 150, 000 copies in one day, increasing to 250, 000 in the first two weeks of its release. In September 1995, he played seven sell-out dates in the Far East, and had a UK Top 40 summer hit with ‘R To The A’. By the beginning of 1996, he had returned to the UK to promote the release of ‘Can’t Take It (Street Life)’. The release of ‘Phat Ting’ went some way towards soothing the disaffected hardcore reggae fans, who had become somewhat disillusioned by Lewis’ crossover success.

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