STAR of the Month: Etana, the strong rebel
The masses know her as 'the Strong One', but this STAR of the Month is more aptly defined as a rebel. For the next month, which is actually her birth month, this history-making singer will share how doing only what she wanted to do has catapulted her to the top of a career in a way she never bargained for.
If you can, imagine a six-year-old girl travelling to school all on her own. She insisted to her aunt that she could walk to the bus stop on her own. As fate would have it, she fell asleep one evening and missed her stop. It was a kind bus driver who ensured she made her way home.
Etana, whose given name is Shauna McKenzie, was born in Kingston on May 22, 1984. By the time she was eight, her vocal talent was discovered after she was overheard singing along to an Air Supply song.
In the coming weeks, THE STAR will take you on an intriguing and exciting journey of Etana's life. She will address the controversial issue of the US$5,000 donation under the Government's Tour Support and Artiste Ambassador Programme. She will speak about social and religious issues, and she will throw open the windows to her world and tell how she bounced back after she became pregnant while in school.
Etana, who grew up in August Town before moving to the plains at Cooreville Gardens, and then to the United States of America, has many stories of triumph over adversities. She wanted to pursue medicine, but put that dream on hold.
These days, the artiste can boast the release of five albums and being the only female reggae artiste to have topped the Billboard Reggae Charts, twice.