The late Mighty Arrow of Montserrat was the singer of the biggest soca song of the 20th century.
“Hot Hot Hot” is estimated to have sold “more than 4m copies in various versions, including a 1994 remix that reached No 38 in Britain” – The Guardian stated in a 2010 obituary article on the late
Alphonsus “Mighty Arrow” Cassell who died in 2010.
Even though music lives on forever, the 20th century has passed and soca music produced in this the 21st century must be judged within context of the modern music industry (streaming, digital sales and downloads etc).
That being said, the biggest, most successful soca song of the 21st century so far and possibly of all time is that of Vincentian singer – Kevin Lyttle with his hit “Turn me on“.
First produced and released in the early 2000’s, a later version of “Turn me on” then evolved to feature Spragga Benz, a dancehall artiste in Jamaica. The song peaked at number four (#4) on the Billboard charts in the USA in August 2004 making it the highest ranking soca song of all time in the US.
Tempted to touch by Rupee also made it on the Billboard charts in 2004, but peaked at number 39 on November 20th.
Turn me on peaked at number two (#2)position as a single on the UK charts in 2003, making it the most successful soca song of all time in the UK.
Lyttle’s song reached multi-platinum level in 2004 after dominating charts in the U. K., Germany, Italy France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Australia, and on to the United States.
According to Globe Newswire “after earning spots on MTV, Billboard’s Hot 100, and even signing a deal with Atlantic Records, his album went multi-platinum, selling over 2,000,000 copies in the beginning”.
In April 2019, Lyttle’s manager (also his wife) Dr. Jacqueline James-Lyttle, responding to comments about the success of Lyttle’s song revealed in a facebook post that ” Kevin Lyttle has over 1.4 million listeners a month on Spotify.
She also stated that “Based on the tens of countries where the song was platinum, gold… TMO has touched over 3 BILLION (with a B) people worldwide”.
In 2017, Billboard named Turn me on the Best Dancehall Chorus of the 21st century.
Cheatcode and Chris Brown also did versions of the song, continuing its successes into another decade.
By: Demion McTair