In late 1984, moviegoers were flocking to cinemas to see Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, network TV was dominated by The Cosby Show, Dallas, and Dynasty, and Billy Ocean hit #1 right out of the gate with his first-ever single, "Caribbean Queen." Well, sort of.
Originally crafted as "European Queen," the song was a flop in the UK. So Ocean reworked it into the form we know today, and the rest is history.
"I was staying in New York, at the flat above the Jive Records office, and Keith would come in, and we’d do more writing," Ocean remembered of writing the tune with producer Keith Diamond to Songwriter Universe earlier this year, "We got the idea for 'Caribbean Queen' together. We were writing and we got a vibe, and that’s what came out of our session. Then we went into the studio and recorded 'Caribbean Queen,' and we wrote and recorded some other songs for the album. And yeah the Suddenly album was born, and before we knew it, we had three hits out of it."
Released in August 1984, the song would steadily climb the charts until it hit #1 on November 3, where it stayed for two consecutive weeks. The track would earn Ocean a Grammy award for Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance. The win would mark him as the first British artist to triumph in that category.
"I’ve been touring—I’m very much a touring act. At present, I’m in Beverly Hills (California), and I just came from finishing a tour in Europe," Ocean stressed in April 2019. "When I’m finished here with the U.S. shows, I’ll be going to Australia, and I have some shows in Africa too. I’m on the road quite a bit…I think I’m one of the hardest working acts there is."