Billy Ocean

Billy Ocean — born Leslie Sebastian Charles (Jan. 21, 1950) — is a Trinidad-born/U.K.-based soul-pop singer with a career that dates back to the early 1970s. He first recorded as Les Charles, cutting two singles for Spark Records in 1971 and 1972. Two years later, he reappeared as the frontman of Scorched Earth, which cut a pair of 1974/75 singles for Philips and Ariston.

Adopting the more “marketable” name Billy Ocean, he released his first solo album in 1976 on GTO, forwarded by the quasi-Philly sweep of “Love Really Hurts Without You.” Several more singles rounded out the decade, including the 1977 U.K. hit “Red Light.” His second album, City Lights, appeared in 1980, followed by two further longplayers on Epic/Columbia.

In 1984, Ocean broke the U.S. market with the shimmery “Caribbean Queen” from the album Suddenly, which generated further hits with the riff-laden “Loverboy” and epiphanic title-track. The following year, he charted again with “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going” from the soundtrack to the adventure/comedy The Jewel of the Nile. The song is included on his 1986 album Love Zone, which displays further balladic range with “There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry),” a radio favorite that summer. His final hit from the period was “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car,” which features in the 1988 Corey/Corey comedy License to Drive.


  • Billy Ocean (1976)
  • City Limit (1980)
  • Nights (Feel Like Getting Down) (1981)
  • Inner Feelings (1982)
  • Suddenly (1984)
  • Love Zone (1986)
  • Tear Down These Walls (1988)
  • Time to Move On (1993)

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