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Jay Kay

AKA: Jason L. Cheetham and Jason Luis Cheetham

About Jay Kay

Born Jason Luís Cheetham in the northern English town of Stretford, Greater Manchester, on December 30, 1969, Jason Kay – better known as Jay Kay – is the frontman and leader of the band Jamiroquai, which rose to instant success in the early 1990s on the back of a signature fusion of 70s funk and late-80s house music styles with a dash of Stevie Wonder thrown in for good measure.

Jay Kay grew up the only child of single mother and 70s jazz cabaret singer Karen Kay). (He would not meet his father, Portuguese guitarist Luís Saraiva, until 2001.) His early upbringing provided an unofficial education in the entertainment industry as his mother toted him from venue to venue. Later, after moving with his mother to London as a teenager, Kay became fascinated with the mid-1980s street culture of hip-hop and graffiti.

After forming Jamiroquai in 1992, the band’s first single, “When You Gonna Learn”, gained major airplay on the dance music radio station Kiss FM, after which Kay was signed to a then-unprecedented £1 million deal with Sony’s S2 label. Seven top ten albums and more than 35 million units later, the high-energy singer with the smooth voice and extravagant onstage headgear continues to enjoy significant global success.