Set to headline '80s Live' in June at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, Billy Ocean talks to Cornfield’s Content Editor about his love for performing live, and his hopes for the future. 

Joined by special guest Alexander O’Neal, Howard Jones, Five Star, Roland Gift from the Fine Young Cannibals and The Blow Monkeys, Billy Ocean will perform some of his best-loved, classic tracks as part of the biggest 80s party night this summer.

Born in Trinidad and raised in East London, Billy Ocean has enjoyed a remarkable career that spans over three decades. Following the success of his 1985 hit ‘When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going’ that reached number one in the UK; Ocean won a Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in the phenomenal track ‘Caribbean Queen’. After producing a series of UK Top 10 hits and US number ones, the sensational recording artist secured his name as the most popular black British R&B musician of the 1980s. With several platinum albums to his name, Ocean is no stranger to creating outstanding tracks; something his Lifetime Achievement Award received at the 2010 MOBO Awards rightfully recognises. 

You’re performing alongside other fabulous 80s music artists for ‘80’s Live’ in Coventry, June 2018. Are you looking forward to performing at the Ricoh Arena as part of the incredible line up? 

Yes! It’s going to be a great day with some great acts.

The event will bring fantastic artists together in the Midlands, as homage to one of the most memorable decades of music. Do you ever feel nostalgic when performing hits from the 80s?

Not nostalgic…it’s just great that songs we wrote back then are still giving so many people so much pleasure and fun!

‘Here You Are: The Best Of Billy’ includes all of your classic tracks. Are there any songs from this wonderful collection that you particularly enjoy performing live? 

I love performing ‘No Woman No Cry’, because the audiences sing along from aged 10 to 80 years old!

You also covered songs that heavily influenced your own music. How did it feel to create an album on which career-defining tracks were recorded alongside music that has inspired your career?

It’s something I had wanted to do for years…the time just seemed right.

The cover of the album is of you as a child. Why did you decide upon this specific picture to represent the album?

That is a boy with dreams, which for me came true.

You’re also, of course, embarking upon a huge tour throughout the world this year, and you’re headlining a few major festivals. What is it about touring that you love?

It’s playing my songs to an audience that wants to party. It’s all about giving some time where we can forget about the problems in our lives and just have fun.

You’ve enjoyed such an extensive and remarkable career in the music industry. Is there a particular moment/event/show that is a memorable highlight?

Wow – that is a hard question! There are too many to pick just one. 

London’s East End has changed so much over the years – do you still hold a connection to the area?

Yes, definitely. I have family still there, and I visit quite often.

Does your heart now belong to Grenada?

I love Grenada, but also Barbados and of course home in the UK.

What changes have you seen in the industry since you first began?

It’s still all about the song, but there seems to be more pressure on younger acts to have hits from the word go. You need time to develop your talent.

I know you’re also a qualified tailor! Do you have any other hidden talents?

I love gardening!

Do you have any future ambitions or dreams? Is there something on your bucket list that you haven’t yet ticked off?

I just want to carry on making people happy through my songs and performing at concerts.


Grab tickets for 80s Live HERE.

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