Dawn Penn is one of the original Queens of Reggae Music. Native of Jamaica, she grew up in a
musical family, studying piano and violin alongside her sisters Pat & Audrey and used to accompany
them in churches either on the organ or piano when they went to perform. Her 1st recording
unbeknown to her- “When I’m Gonna Be Free” was recorded in 1966 and the masters held by
Derrick Morgan and on Island/Hop Label. She was then recorded by Clement Sir Coxson Dodd-
Studio One and her first hit came in 1967 entitled “You Don’t Love Me, No, No, No- one of the most
famous reggae hits of all-time has been covered by countless artists around the world including Eve,
J Millz, Beyonce, Rihanna, Sean Paul, Wu-Tang Clan and Lily Allen to name a few.
Over several years singles were released including 4 , “Long Day Short Night, “Are You There”
“Blue Yes Blue” and “Here’s The Key” on Prince Buster’s label. “To Sir With Love” – “It Must Be Him”
for WIRL now Dynamic Sounds. 1970 she moved to Tortola- British Virgin Islands to explore her roots
on her father’s side and returned to Jamaica in 1987- re-recorded her single “You Don’t Love Me,
No, No, No with Steelie & Cleavie in 1991 to commemorate Studio One’s 35 th Anniversary for
Hearbeat Records in the US that became a crossover hit in the mainstream Pop Charts. King Jammy’s
released his single recordings of Dawn Penn, Ken Boothe, Dennis Brown with Bounty Killer on the
Greensleeves Label that became a Dancehall Smash.
In 1993 Big Beat (Atlantic Records signed Penn to an 8 year album deal and by the following year she
was back on the charts with her re-recorded dancehall version of “You Don’t Love Me, No, No, No.
The single charted in 68 countries and was featured in advertisements for Nissan, Churchill and
several movies including “Men In Black. The album No, No, No was nominated for a Grammy Award
in 1994. In 1995 she produced and recorded her original track “What Do You Do” followed up by
Delroy Williams and her producing the album called “Come Again” on Trojan Records that sold
110,000 copies. Her 2000 single Reggae Version of “Never Ever” was released on Jet Star and
became a smash hit on BBC Radio 1
In 2001 Dawn was honoured with “Martin Luther King Award” by Caribbean Images- New York, in
recognition of her contribution to Jamaican music. 2002 -2004 she collaborated with top US Hip-Hop
Artists including John Forte of the Fugees on “What You Gonna Do”, Mercy Pon We,” Looking For A
Lion” culminating in the release of the R & B Album- Never hustle the Music, touring extensively
across Europe. In the US, Cocoa Brovaz (Spit Again) was a project on Rawkus.
She toured Hawaii with Alpha Blondy officially released “Growing –Up to wide acclaim and later with
Maui, Ohau and Honolulu- The big Island alongside Lauryn Hill and Capleton. Penn has been thrilling
vintage reggae lovers and crossover fans alike at festivals in the UK, Sweden, Belgium, Holland the
Czech Republic, Russia, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, France & Italy to name a few. She has written
her book “Story Of My Life” available in the kindle Format on Amazon and all ebook stores and the
hard copy of a revised version is on her website www.dawnpenn.com. She runs her label Da-Beat Ltd
with her son Continental Crooks also an artist. In 2013 she graced the BET 13 th Musical Awards in LA
alongside Beanie Man, Chakademus & Pliers and Elephant Man.