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Jamaicans have imported many things to the U.S. – Blue Mountain coffee and Bob Marley are just two of the highlights. Gold medalists and world champions Usain Bolt and Shelly Ann-Newby Fraser have knocked previously dominant American track athletes to the back of the pack and even American gold medalist, track star Sanya Richards Ross, is of Jamaican parentage. But female superstar singers have been the one thing Jamaica hasn’t had much success with. Until now.
Tessanne Chin’s stunning Season 5 win on he NBC reality show “The Voice” had both Jamaican and American fans cheering. Coached by Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine, Chin, who has released records in Jamaica, became the Season 5 winner chalking up another triumph for Jamaican pride. Even Bolt is a fan, tweeting out his congrats after her victory in December. Chin’s first single on her upcoming Universal Records album due out in March is “Tumbling Down.”
“I’m in Jamaica right now,” Chin tells the Tom Joyner Morning Show, calling in from Kingston. A product of a Chinese/Cherokee father and English/Black mother, Chin is part of the ethnic polyglot that makes up Jamaican culture.
“There’s a lot of different cultures and a lot of different nationalities in Jamaica,” Chin says. “Surprisingly, it’s such a melting pot for such a little island.” Chin, who is married to Jamaican radio personality Wayne Cuffe, Jr. and is the sister of singer Tami Chynn, who opened for Celine Dion, has had her fair share of success on her native island, collaborating with Shaggy and recording with the group Mile High. It was Shaggy who encouraged her to audition for “The Voice” hoping to give her a bigger outlet. Obviously, he was on point.