From “Heads High” (1998) to the newest “My Jam” (2015), Mr. Vegas has assembled an unshakable string of international classic reggae and dancehall releases including Billboard hits highlighting his career progression for the last two decades.
Born Clifford Smith in Jamaica’s capital city, Kingston. Mr. Vegas developed a passion for music at an early age. It was customary for aspiring high school age singers to gather during lunch break to test new lyrics and share their talents with classmates. Smith’s passion developed during these sessions when he noted female classmates would regularly attend without
demonstrating any interest in lunch.
His first hit, “Nike Air” (1997), only came about because Mr. Vegas successfully demanded that doctors removed the wiring in his jaw after a serious injury. Despite nursing the injured jaw, ” Nike Air” raced to the top of the charts. Mr. Vegas follow up smash hit on the Filthy Riddim, “Heads High”, took the world by storm. Led by its undeniable hook over the creeping bass line, “Heads High” reached #1 on the reggae charts in five continents and #69 on the US R&B Chart. The same year, Mr. Vegas won a distinguished MOBO (Music Of Black Origin) Award in the UK.
Throughout the years, Mr. Vegas has proved adept at catchy hooks, knowing just the right beats that will hit at the right time coupled with signature song writing. ‘Tek Wey Yuhself’, ‘Hot Wuk’ and ‘Nuh Friend From Dem’, from his 2007 album Hot It Up, are a case in point. All were chart toppers in Jamaica and dominated the major American, Japanese and European charts. In 2010 Mr. Vegas was nominated for Soul Train ‘Reggae Artist of the Year‘ and performed at the Soulfusion Soul Train Awards in early 2011. “I want to be around in twenty years,” says Vegas, “and ‘Sweet Jamaica’ is the best way I can think of to put my stamp on the future, one in which real foundation reggae and dancehall both play a part, just like real life”.
By year-end 2012, Sweet Jamaica and Mr. Vegas made great strides including a MOBO 2012 Award nomination in the UK. Sweet Jamaica was named by Google Music as ‘Top 50 albums of 2012‘, endorsed by Complex Magazine in the ‘Top 100 Albums of 2012‘ as well as on the ‘Best of 2012‘ in the reggae section of iTunes. Leading the way into 2013 with solid rotations on mainstream radio throughout the US and a remix package penetrating the dance market. The versatile and accomplished Mr. Vegas added yet another achievement to his portfolio with multiple nominations at the 32nd IRAWMA awards on May 6, 2013. On that day he copped the title Song of the Year with “Sweet Jamaica” and Video of the Year with “Bruk it Down“. Standing on the Sun with Beyoncé was release on Beyoncé’s Platinum Edition Album in December 2013.
In addition to his many collaborations, during his journey as an artiste Mr. Vegas has opened for Deborah Cox, Foxy Brown, and Black Eyed Peas. He has also shared the stage with Brandy, Method Man Redman, T-Pain, Future, Trey Songz, Nicki Minaj, Pitbull and has done production work with industry producer Major Lazer. Mr. Vegas has appeared on all of the industry’s major shows, in Jamaica and abroad, including Guinness Sting, Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest, Reggae Sunsplash, Tobago Jazz Festival, Best of the Best in Miami, Uppsala Reggae Fest, Summerjam Germany, Rototom Sunsplash, Amsterdam Reggae Festival, SXSW and more. Mr. Vegas continues to tour extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean Islands and North and South America.