Many Jamaicans were already familiar with her older sister, Tami, when songbird Tessanne Chin was introduced to us on the small stage of the 2006 Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. Since then, the former back-up singer for reggae legend Jimmy Cliff and rock band frontwoman has carved a niche for herself in the local music industry, even releasing a solo album, In Between Words, in 2011. However, she had not managed to get the big international break befitting her level of talent.
That situation has now changed, as the 28-year-old was recently crowned the winner of season 5 of the Emmy-winning US talent show, The Voice. Thousands of Jamaicans at home and abroad sat anxiously glued to their television sets on Tuesday night, September 24, to watch her blind audition, a powerful rendition of P!nk’s . We were not surprised when all four superstar coaches – Christina Aguillera, Ceelo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton – hurriedly turned their chairs for her, neither were we shocked by the ‘dirty fight’ that ensued as each coach tried to woo her. The vast majority of the 14.14 million US viewers that night had no idea what was about to hit them when Tessanne hummed the first note, but they were soon won over, not just by her stunning voice, but her warm and humble personality as well.
Tessanne's Voice win has catapulted her into the rarified air of stardom and her popularity continues to rise. Fans – longtime diehards in Jamaica and the diaspora, along with new supporters gained from the show – now anxiously await her big-label debut album, under the Universal Music Group. Thousands flocked to the lawns of King's House on Saturday, January 4, to see Jamaica's newly minted star in her first major performance since the competition, at the Shaggy & Friends benefit concert, in aid of the Bustamante Hospital for Children. It is an initiative she has supported since its inception.
Those who were unable to attend Shaggy & Friends, or who wanted to experience the magic all over again, were treated to a free Tessanne Chin 'homecoming concert' on Sunday, January 11, at the downtown Kingston waterfront.