Marion Hall (born 12 July 1972; formerly known by the stage name Lady Saw) is a Jamaican singer-songwriter whose career has spanned over two decades. Widely known as the Queen of Dancehall, she is the first female deejay to win a Grammy Award and to be certified as a triple-platinum artist.
Hall was born in Galina, Saint Mary, Jamaica in 1972. As a child, she attended Galina Primary School. During her teen years, she had a sewing job at The Free Zone in Kingston, Jamaica. At the age of fifteen, she began performing with local sound systems. She went on to work with the Stereo One system in Kingston.
1987-1995: Lover Girl
In 1987, Hall took the name "Lady Saw" after the famous Jamaican singer Tenor Saw, who inspired her music. Her performances brought her to the attention of record producers and she recorded her first single for producer Piper, and "Love Me or Lef Me", produced by Olive Shaw received significant airplay. She had her first hit with "If Him Lef" and she topped the Jamaican charts with "Find a Good Man". After her music success on Jamaican radio, she began recording her first studio album. In August 1994, Saw released her first album entitled Lover Girl. The album spawned the hit "Stab Up De Meat".
1996-1997: Give Me a Reason and Passion
In 1996, Saw released her second album Give Me the Reason. The album became known for its explicit sexual lyrics which was showcased on songs "Life Without Dick" and "Name Nuh Stand Fi Sex". The album spawned the singles: "Give Me a Reason", "Good Wuk", and "Condom".
In June 1997, Saw released "Passion". The album charted at number 8 on Billboard's Top Reggae Albums chart, becoming her first album to chart. The album spawned the singles: "Healing" and "Sycamore Tree".
1998-2003: 99 Ways
In February 1998, Saw released her first greatest hits album entitled Raw, the Best of Lady Saw. In December 1998, Saw released her fourth album 99 Ways, which charted at number 10 on Billboard's Top Reggae Albums chart.
In 1999 she had a major hit in the United States with "Smile", recorded with Vitamin C, which peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100, also a major hit in New Zealand and Canada, and certified gold with over 500,000 sales. In 2002, her collaboration with No Doubt, "Underneath It All", which reached number three in the US and sold more than three million copies, reaching triple platinum certification. The track won a Grammy Award for 'Best Performance by a Duo or Group'.
2004-2007: Strip Tease and Walk Out
In August 2004, Lady Saw released her fifth album Strip Tease. The album charted at number 84 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and number 14 Billboard's Top Reggae Albums chart. The lead single "I've Got Your Man" garnered much worldwide success and charted at number 58 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The album also spawn the singles: "Man is the Least", "Move Your Body", and "Loser".
In March 2007, Saw released the single "No Less Than a Woman (Infertility)". The song addressed the many problems that women have involving infertility. In April 2007, Saw released her sixth album Walk Out, which peaked at number 8 on the Top Reggae Albums chart. Saw released two more singles: "Chat to Mi Back" and "Me and My Crew (The Rae)". Later that year, she performed on the main stage at Jamaica's annual Reggae Sumfest.
2009-2015: My Way and Alter Ego
In 2009, Saw released her second greatest hits album entitled Extra Raw: The First Lady of Dancehall. She launched her own record label, Divas Records, in January 2010. In August 2010, Saw released the lead single "Party Till December" from her forthcoming album. In December 2010, she released My Way, which failed to chart. In the same year, Lady Saw was also featured along with Nicki Minaj on rapper Trina's song "Dang A Lang" from her album Amazin'. In May 2011, she released a single "When Mi Left a Man".
In 2012, she released an extended play entitled "Two Man". In October 2012, Saw released a single "Heels On". In November 2012 she announced that she was turning her back on dancehall and would be concentrating on Gospel music in the future. In August 2013, Saw released a single "Nuh Tek Mi Man".
In 2014, she released her album Alter Ego, which features guest appearances from Beres Hammond, Flo Rida, and Ali Campbell. The album charted at number 6 on the Top Reggae Albums chart. In the same year, she established The Lady Saw Foundation; which aims to help abused and needy women.
In March 2015, she released a single "Scammer". In May 2015, Saw released the single "Incline Thine Ears". In June 2015, she released a two singles "Last Night" and "The Devil Have a Way". In August 2015, Saw released a single "The Day Will Never Come". In September 2015, she released the single "Likkle Bit". In November 2015, Singing Melody released the single "Beneath Your Beautiful", which featured Lady Saw. On 6 November 2015, she released her second extended play entitled, Lady Saw: Special Edition. In December 2015, she released a single "Lay On Your Body".
2016-present: Conversion to Christianity and retirement from Dancehall music
On December 15, 2015, Saw underwent a Baptism. She later stated she will no longer identify herself as "Lady Saw", but instead as Minister Marion Hall or simply Marion Hall. She also stated that she will not perform dancehall music, but instead she will begin a new music career in gospel music. She has released a few gospel songs; "Jesus In The End", "Cup of Blessings", "God Almighty", and "Heaven" which appear on several mixtapes. In July 2016, she released her gospel album When God Speaks.
In June 2018, Hall released the lead single "I'm Gonna Fast" from her album "His Grace". The album was released on July 20, 2018.
Lady Saw became known for slack performance style. The style also prompted her to record "What is Slackness?"; a song in which she defines 'slackness' in many ways. Slackness often refers to vulgarity in Jamaican culture, behavior and the music. It always sums up the explicit sexual lyrics used in reggae and dancehall music. Because of this, several of her performances were banned in some parts of Jamaica, though equally lewd male performances were not. The double standard inspired her to record the song "Freedom of Speech" in protest. She also became known for her "conscious" lyrics. She recorded "Condom"; warning girls of the dangers of unprotected heterosexual sex.
- Lover Girl (1994)
- Give Me The Reason (1996)
- Passion (1997)
- 99 Ways (1998)
- Strip Tease (2004)
- Walk Out (2007)
- My Way (2010)
- Alter Ego (2014)
- When God Speaks (2016)
- His Grace (2018)
- Minister Marion Hall | About | Facebook. Facebook. Retrieved on 4 September 2016
- "Lady Saw Makes Studio 38 Debut", Jamaica Gleaner, 25 February 2011, retrieved 2011-03-29
- Lady Saw gives back to Galina. Jamaican Observer. Retrieved on 14 March 2016
- Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0242-9, p. 162-3
- Jackson, Kevin (2012) "LADY SAW - Came, saw... still conquering", Jamaica Observer, 18 May 2012, retrieved 2012-06-01
- Lady Saw | Awards | AllMusic. All Music. Retrieved on 14 March 2016
- Johnson, Richard (2012) "The gospel according to Lady Saw", Jamaica Observer, 23 November 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2012
- Campbell-Livingston, Cecelia (2014) "Saw’s ‘Alter Ego’ reaches out", Jamaica Observer, 5 October 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014
- Campbell, Howard (2014) "Saw's Alter Ego out", Jamaica Observer, 20 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014
- Lady Saw - Scammer (Single). iTunes. Retrieved on 14 March 2016
- Lady Saw - Incline Thine Ears (Single). iTunes. Retrieved on 14 March 2016
- Lady Saw - Last Night (Single). iTunes. Retrieved on 14 March 2016
- Lady Saw - The Devil Have a Way (Single). iTunes. Retrieved on 14 March 2016
- Lady Saw - The Day Will Never Come (Single). iTunes. Retrieved on 14 March 2016
- Lady Saw - Likkle Bit (Single). iTunes. Retrieved on 14 March 2016
- Lady Saw - Lady Saw Special Edition (EP). iTunes. Retrieved on 14 March 2016
- Lady Saw - Lay On Your Body (Single). iTunes. Retrieved on 14 March 2016
- Lady Saw: Baptism is no publicity stunt - Asks forgiveness from Tifa, Spice, Macka Diamond. Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved on 14 March 2016
- Lady Saw Retires From Dancehall Gets Baptized Following J Capri Funeral. Urban Islandz. Retrieved on 14 March 2016
- Bonitto, Brian (2016) "‘Happier with less’ - Marion Hall finds solace in Christianity", Jamaica Observer, 3 June 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016
- Marion Hall Prepares Gospel Album "His Grace" After God Blew Her Mind. Hype Life Magazine. Retrieved on June 26, 2018