Billy Ocean (born Leslie Sebastian Charles, 21 January 1950, Fyzabad, Trinidad) is a Grammy Award-winning British-based popular music performer who had a string of rhythm and blues-tinged international pop hits in the 1970s and 1980s. He was the main British-based R&B singer / songwriter of the 1980s. He waited seven years after scoring his first four UK top 20 successes, before accumulating a series of transatlantic successes, including three U.S. number ones.
He was born in Fyzabad, Trinidad and Tobago to Grenadian parents, and moved to England with his family at the age of eight. Oceans’ musical influence came at an early age of his life, as his father was a musician, and realised he was inline to follow those ambitions as he was growing up. During his teenage years, he sang regularly in London clubs while also working as a tailor in London’s Savile Row. He released his first single in 1972 on Spark Records as Les Charles.
When in Trinidad as a boy he adopted the name Billy Ocean, taking the surname from the local football team ‘Ocean’s Eleven’, who had gotten the name from the famous film of the same name. The next year, 1976, was when he recorded his first album, Billy Ocean, with its first single release, “Love Really Hurts Without You,” charting at number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and number 22 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. More successes ensued, including “L.O.D. (Love On Delivery)”. He also wrote songs for other artists, such as La Toya Jackson. In 1981, he scored the U.S. R&B chart with “Nights (Feel Like Getting Down)”.