Billy Ocean: “My Mother’s Death Transformed My Life”
The soulful lyrics of Trinidadian-born and British-bred R&B legend Billy Ocean have touched millions across Europe, as well the rest of the world, especially at the height of his career during the 1970s and 80s with hits like “Caribbean Queen” and the timeless ballad “Suddenly.” Now in his 60s, Ocean is still making music and touring the world.
Ocean was born as Leslie Sebastian Charles in Fyzabad, Trinidad and Tobago, to Hainsley Charles, a Grenadian musician and his wife Violet. His family moved to Romford, London, England, when he was ten years old in 1960, just before Trinidad and Tobago became independent.
Ocean took his stage name from the Ocean Estate, Stepney in London’s East End, where he was living at the time. In 1976, he recorded his first album titled, Billy Ocean.
Over four decades later, he is still selling out shows around the world, in large part because of his decision to go vegetarian more than 20 years ago.
“When my mother died from ovarian cancer in 1989, it transformed my life,” Ocean told the UK Daily Mail in an interview.
“I looked at how she’d lived — a hard-working woman, only to die just three years after I was successful enough to take care of her. I realized I had to take care of myself. So I took a five-year break from music to spend time with my wife and three children. I became more spiritual and just went off meat.”
The fruits of his labor flourished and now, at age 70, he is looking better than some men half his age, which he states was one of many results from him becoming a vegetarian.
Many people resent the vegetarian diet and one of the common reasons why is because meat is believed to be…