BY: Jodee Brown
In the entertainment world, there are a lot of beautiful women and men most normal women would kill to get with. Thus, it’s only natural for some men and women within that world will work with, hang out with and, eventually, fall in love with each other for whatever reason.
However, when someone is always in the spotlight is in a relationship, whether he or she with a celebrity or not, said relationship is always open to scrutiny or at the very least, lots of ‘suss’ as we say. That, combined with issues any general couple will have – trust, infidelity, time for one another etc. – can make for a less than successful relationship, and in many of these cases, a very bitter break-up.
That bitterness has been on full display in the latest high-profile split involving prominent sound system selector, Foota Hype and singer, Ishawna, who had been together nearly a decade and engaged for about a year until the two split in April. Over the last month, the two have been going at it, whether in song, or social media or in interviews – Foota’s interview on Wednesday night where he claimed Ishawna was sleeping with her Downsound Records bosses particularly telling – causing tongues to wag and media to speculate on what went wrong.
Including this recent breakup, here are 10 high-profile breakups within the Jamaican entertainment industry, including musicians, sports figures, media personalities and more, in recent years.
Reggae singer, Ce’Cile Charlton and Christopher Martin first started dating at the turn of the decade, with Martin 13 years younger than his then girlfriend. Nevertheless, the two looked to be a very steady couple, though they kept their relationship as private as possible, barely acknowledging to the media that they were an item.
The two even had a now two-year-old daughter back in August 2012 and everything was on track for a ‘happily ever after’ type of story. However, Ce’Cile revealed earlier this year that she and Martin were done, amid reports Martin’s party lifestyle had cause a rift within their relationship. However, the singer insisted there was no drama when the two split and that Martin remains a great father to their daughter.
The Queen of Dancehall, Lady Saw and veteran producer, Lloyd ‘John John’ James have been intertwined with each other, both professionally and personally since Saw made a serious splash on the Dancehall scene in the mid-90s, adopting three children along the way. Despite their longevity, the two have been on and off on several occasions, the most public of their squabbles being in October 2012, when Saw confirmed James had gotten another woman, who lived near her, pregnant.
Despite admitting her disgust and sadness over the situation and considering this was not the first time James had been unfaithful, Saw stuck by him. However, just five months later, Saw appeared to reach her breaking point after going on a Twitter tirade about how James had impregnated other women and threatened to take a sabbatical, seemingly indicating she was done with him.
But now, the two still appear to be together. After Saw made a reference to John John during her clash with Macka Diamond implying that they were still an item, and with a John John-produced song for Saw coming out earlier this year, things appear to be back to normal.
8. Mr. Lexx and Tunya Campbell – This one also falls into the murky category considering we don’t know when they officially broke up, but Mr. Lexx (formerly Lexxus) and former Miss Jamaica Petite winner, Tossan ‘Tunya’ Campbell had their share of trials and tribulations that played out in the media over the years.
The two met in 1999 and were wed in 2002, going through their share of adversity along the way and had a trial separation just a few years later, citing differences throughout their relationship. The two, however, got back together in 2006 and all seemed well once again until Tunya filed a lawsuit against Lexx in 2008, claiming he made defamatory statements during an interview on ZIP 103 FM when he claimed he moved out of their home due to her ‘infidelity.’
From here, it gets sticky because it is unknown when the couple divorced. What we do know is that she later got involved with fellow deejay Busy Signal and eventually had a child for him in 2012 while he was serving time in a U.S. prison on a 10-year-old charge. For his part, Lexx opened up a bit about his relationship with Campbell, telling the Lauren O Lauren show that he and his ex-wife tried several times to have children, but was unsuccessful.
7. Yendi and Asafa – Next, we include the first of three two-time entrants on this list in Miss Universe 2010 runner-up Yendi Phillipps, who made headlines with her relationship with former world record holding sprinter, Asafa Powell.
Those headlines, however, were few and far between considering Phillipps never publicly acknowledged that the two were together while they were dating, largely denying they were in a relationship. However, after Phillipps starred at the Miss Universe pageant in 2010, details of said relationship were slowly but surely coming out, with Powell himself speaking out about in in September of that year.
Rumours plagued their relationship from the get go, with stories of alleged infidelity on both sides coming out. Ultimately, it is believed the two broke up in early 2011, with Phillipps revealing in an interview with Tallawah Magazine that they had remained friends. It didn’t take her long to find love again, as you’ll see later, while Powell reportedly had his first child in 2012 with FiWi Choice host and model, Amita Webb, though neither Powell nor Webb have publicly confirmed nor denied that.
Just a year ago, the two were engaged at Foota’s party celebrating his anniversary as a sound selector as they looked to carry their then eight-year-long relationship to the aisle. The two had been together since Foota discovered Ishawna as she looked to break into the music scene and despite some reported issues, the two remained one of the more steady couples in Jamaican music.
Fast forward to April 2014, it was over. Both parties confirmed the breakup, but never admitted the case for it. In the last month, as mentioned in the opening, the split has caused growing animosity between the two parties, with the latest salvo fired by Foota in a YouTube interview in which he revealed that he left the Downsound Records label the two had been signed to because she had made a pair of songs – Restraining Order and Cry Baby – while with the label, that were reportedly aimed squarely at him. He also claimed Ishawna had sexual relations with Downsound’s boss, Josef Bogdanovich and producer, Cordel ‘Skatta’ Burrell while he was with the label – a claim she has vehemently denied – and that she would be nowhere career-wise without him. Ishawna, meanwhile, reportedly accused Foota of stalking her after their breakup
This one got nasty pretty quickly and the bad feelings festering since their breakup do not look like subsiding anytime soon.
After months of dating, and in a complete contrast to her relationship with Asafa Powell, Phillipps publicized her relationship with the son of Reggae stalwart, Freddie McGregor in April 2012 after posting a picture on her official Facebook page confirming she was having her first child with Chino. The next day, the two called a press conference to reveal more about their relationship, with Phillipps showing her affection for the soft-spoken McGregor while talking about how they dated and their plans for the child.
Public criticism was endless from the moment Yendi posted that picture, with some critics calling her everything from promiscuous to attention seeking. Regardless, the happy couple kept on going, having their first child together in September amid reports the two had gotten engaged after Yendi sported a ring during her hosting gig on TVJ’s Smile Jamaica.
But on Valentine’s Day of this year, in the irony of ironies, reports surfaced that the two were no longer, with a Jamaica STAR story revealing the two had split, with reports on gossip websites claiming they parted ways amid accusations of infidelity. Neither has publicly commented on the split since.
4. Vybz Kartel and Stacy Elliott – Easily the most controversial artist of his generation, the now incarcerated Adidja ‘Vybz Kartel’ Palmer had a penchant for shocking the world with his lyrics and actions. But one of his more shocking announcements came in 2005 when the deejay, known for his hardcore sexual content in his music and numerous baby mothers, got married.
In December of that year, he married New York-based bank supervisor, Stacy Elliott at a wedding ceremony at a St. Andrew-based registrar, to the shock of much of the entertainment fraternity. Immediately, people were skeptical about the union, with some speculating that Kartel only married Elliott to acquire a U.S. visa, an accusation Kartel has long since denied.
The two, who had met four years prior at a show in Brooklyn, never lived together during their marriage, with Kartel later filing for divorce after claiming Elliott had a child by another man during their time together and that she never visited him after his U.S. visa had been revoked. The divorce was finalized in October 2008, leaving many to wonder if the marriage was legitimate in the first place.
3. Sasha and Turbulence – This was undoubtedly one of the nastier breakups within the Jamaican entertainment industry as singers, Sasha and Turbulence went from close collaborators to lyrical opponents following their 2006 split.
Two years earlier, the two were basking in glory from their hot collaborations, Want a Natty and We’ve Got the Love, which made them hot properties within the Reggae industry and had painted ideal pictures of their relationship in the accompanying videos for these songs.
Things were going perfectly until the pair suddenly broke up in 2005, with reports suggesting Sasha ended her relationship with the Rastafarian artist after finding out he was being unfaithful. Like the Foota Hype-Ishawna situation, little was said about the breakup initially. But in September 2006, the story took an unusual twist when Turbulence recorded a single entitled, No Man No Perfect which contained lyrics directly addressing his issues with Sasha, suggesting rumours she spread about him ended their relationship but that he had no interest in trying to win her back.
Sasha shot back instantly with Got What You Need in which she blasted Turbulence for his actions, singing “Yu know whey you do and yu know yu a cheata, Mi neva gi yu bun caa mi no Delcita, Mi know yu a man and mi mus get bun, But sex without condom a careless fun,” then mocking Turbulence by imitating a man’s voice and saying, “Selassie I Jah Rastafari, a jacket dem a gi I, anno lie I a lie.”
Despite the lyrical jabs, the two reunited in 2008 for the video for their single, Don’t Want To Be Alone, where the two were intimately kissing and holding each other, fuelling rumours of a reconciliation, which both Sasha and Turbulence denied, suggesting they were just friends.
Shortly thereafter, Sasha surprised the Reggae industry when she announced she became a born again Christian and would no longer perform her hits, only doing gospel music from that point on.
2. Beenie Man and Carlene – They were the hottest couple in Dancehall in the 1990s. Dancehall superstar, Beenie Man and former Dancehall Queen, Carlene Smith were regularly seen on stage together during Beenie’s performances and videos, such as Wickedest Slam, Nuff Gal, Kette Drum and others.
Media attention around the two was endless during this period as the ‘King of the Dancehall’ and the most high profile Dancehall queen of them all became the genre’s first super couple. The two even had a daughter together in 1999 and seemed on course for bigger and better things.
But in 2000, Smith ended her relationship with Beenie, which stunned the Dancehall world, with Smith insisting the breakup was amicable and that Beenie was still very much a part of her daughter’s life.
Since retiring from dancing, Smith went on to host a talk show as well as other ventures. As for Beenie, well…
1. Beenie Man/Bounty Killer and D’Angel – The ‘King of the Dancehall’ had a relatively calm breakup from Carlene, but tidal waves of controversy flooded his high profile relationship with another Dancehall diva, Michelle Downer aka D’Angel.
So why is Bounty Killer included here? Like with most of Beenie’s career, Bounty has been intertwined with his long-time ‘frenemy’ if you will at some point or another and the D’Angel saga was really the tip of iceberg. After Bounty and D’Angel had been dating for a considerable time, they split and D’Angel, who burst onto the scene in 2005 with her single, Downtown Girl soon met Beenie and immediately hit it off with him.
The two married just a year later, rekindling the rivalry between Beenie and Bounty as evidenced by their song for song exchange on the Show Off Riddim and even was a catalyst in Vybz Kartel’s separation from Bounty’s Alliance. Controversy followed Beenie and D’Angel’s marriage from day one and despite having a son in November 2006, the two separated a few months later amidst rumours of infidelity by D’Angel.
But hints soon after, such as Beenie’s appearance in D’Angel’s video for Blaze signaled a reconciliation between the two parties and the two would work things out. However, their turbulent marriage came to an end when divorce papers were filed following stories of another big rift between the two, with her appearance at Bounty’s birthday party being the final straw for Beenie after D’Angel no-showed his just 10 days earlier.
This story soon turned into a big soap opera, from both crying in separate interviews when talking about the divorce, to Bounty’s claim that D’Angel never really love Beenie in the first place and still had ratings for him. The media circus was as annoying as it was entertaining for a large portion of the public.
Despite all this, the two have reportedly remained civil to each other for the sake of their son and have even performed together since. Undoubtedly, this was the biggest breakup and relationship saga in the Jamaican entertainment world in recent memory.