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Louisa Mark

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Louisa Mark was born in Kensal Rise and lived with her Grenadian-born parents. She began singing at a young age, providing vocals for Sufferer - a London-based sound system - as well as music club residencies in West London.

As a teenager she entered Star Search a talent competition held at the legendary Four Aces Club on Dalston Lane. The Four Aces was a pioneering Hackney music venue which is credited as the home of the 1960s and 70s evolution of ska, reggae, dancehall and lovers' rock. Mark won the contest for ten consecutive weeks.

After her success in Star Search attracted the attention of sound system owner and reggae producer Lloyd Coxsone who had produced dubplates for the contestants to sing over. Coxsone invited her to record 'Caught You in a Lie'. The single was released on reggae label Safari and became and instant hit.

Mark's 'Caught You in a Lie' (1975) is regarded as the first ever record in the lovers' rock genre, a romantic form of reggae which became popular in Britain. Lovers' rock offered an alternative approach to reggae compared to the more political genre of Jamaican reggae which often referenced social issues and protest. Mark also released a reggae version of The Beatles' 'All My Loving' shortly after 'Caught You in a Lie' but then retreated from music and completed her secondary school studies, apparently due to a disagreement with Coxsone.

In 1977, Louisa Mark returned to music under the Trojan record label, working closely with lovers' rock producer Clement Bushay. She released several singles through the 1970s. In 1978, Mark was voted Artist of the Year at the UK's Reggae Awards.

Mark passed away in 2009 in Gambia at aged 49, where she had settled in the early 2000s to be involved in charity work.
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