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Hortense Ellis

1941-2000 JM, Trenchtown
A.k.a. Dawn Love Mahalia Saunders Queen Tiney

Hortense Ellis, the younger sister of reggae superstar, Alton Ellis, was born April 18th 1941 in Trench Town, Jamaica. Her father worked on the railways while her mother ran a fruit stall. Hortense was just 18 years old when she appeared on The Vere Johns Opportunity Hour, which was then Jamaica's foremost outlet for undiscovered young talent. Her version of Frankie Lymon's "I'm Not Saying No At All" went down so well with the audience and the panel that she was invited back the following week. Hortense went on to enter many other competitions and showcases managing to reach six semi-finals and four finals. In 1964 she was awarded a silver cup as Jamaica's Best Female Vocalist - a feat she was to repeat five years later. By the late sixties, Hortense had extensive experience both in live performance and in the studio. She had toured Jamaica with Byron Lee And The Dragonaires and had begun recording with some of the island's top producers. Among these were Ken Lack, Arthur "Duke" Reid and Clement "Coxsone" Dodd. Alton Ellis was also recording with Dodd at this time and the family connection was cleverly exploited as Dodd produced "female" adaptions of several of Alton's hits for Hortense to record. The ever-resourceful Dodd also paired Alton and Hortense on a run of classic duets. The siblings toured Canada in 1970 but by the following year Hortense was back in Jamaica. She married Mikey "Junior" Saunders with whom she had five children in quick succession. Although her live performances suffered as a result, Hortense remained busy in the studio. Recording under the name Mahalia Saunders for producer Lee Perry she cut several sides including "Right On The Tip Of My Tongue" and "Piece Of My Heart". Hortense's biggest commercial success came in the late seventies with a song cut for Augustus "Gussie" Clarke. "Unexpected Places" was a big hit in Jamaica and was released in Britain on the Hawkeye label. For producer Bunny Lee, Hortense became Queen Tiney for her "Down Town Ting" - an answer record to the Althea & Donna hit "Uptown Top Ranking" which had itself been based on the rhythm of Alton Ellis's "I'm Still in Love With You". Around this time, Hortense recut many of her Studio One sides with The Soul Syndicate, The Aggrovators and the up and coming team of Sly & Robbie . The rise of the Lovers Rock genre in the late seventies and early eighties resulted in Hortense cutting cover versions of several soul classics including "Down The Aisle" (Patti LaBelle) and "Young Hearts Run Free" (Candi Staton). Following her divorce from Mikey Saunders, Hortense spent much of the eighties in Miami and New York. On returning to Jamaica in 1989, she began suffering severe health problems; but managed to carry on with occasional live local performances - something she loved immensely. She recovered sufficiently to make a private visit to New York in the summer of 1999 and then to Miami the following year where illness finally caught up with her. Hortense Ellis, known by so many in Jamaica and all over the world as "Jamaica's First Lady Of Song", passed away in her sleep in a Kingston hospital on October 18th 2000

  • Reggae
  • R&B/Soul
  • Pop
Popular Tracks   
People Make the World Go Round on Alton & Hortense Ellis by Alton Ellis & Hortense Ellis
I'm Still In Love on Hortense Ellis Sings Lovers Rocks by Hortense Ellis
Woman of the Ghetto on Impact! by Various Artists
To the Other Woman on Trojan Reggae Sisters Collection by Various Artists
Hell and Sorry on Total Reggae, Vol. 2 by Various Artists
My Last Date on My Last Date by Hortense Ellis
Breaking Up Is Hard to Do on Alton & Hortense Ellis by Alton Ellis & Hortense Ellis
Just One Look on A Live Injection: Anthology 1968-1979 by Lee "Scratch" Perry
Mark My Words on Hortense Ellis Sings Lovers Rocks by Hortense Ellis
Sincerely on Hortense Ellis Sings Lovers Rocks by Hortense Ellis

Track list and 30sec audio provided by

Band Members

Title Artist Year Type
Wooden Heart ~ Rocking To The Field / Somebody Help Me / Miami BeachLarry Marshall & Val Bennett / Hortense Ellis / Busters Allstars2018Album
People Make The World Go Round / Give Love Another TryHortense Ellis / Claudette McLean2018Single
Jah Created The WorldHortense Ellis2016Single
Hell And SorrowHortense Ellis2016Single
Jah Mysterious WorksHortense Ellis2012Single
Down The AisleHortense Ellis2012Single
Love Is The Key / AgainHortense Ellis / Alton Ellis2010Single
We'll Cry TogetherHortense Ellis2006Single
I'm Still In Love With YouAlton Ellis Featuring Hortense Ellis2006Compil.
I Am In Love / I'm Just A GirlJennifer Lara / Hortense Ellis2005Album
Thats When It Hurts / I DoDerrick Morgan, Hortense Ellis2004Single
Hortense's Last StandHortense Ellis2001Compil.
How Could It BeHortense Ellis1999Single
Queen Of Reggae MusicHortense Ellis1995Album
Alton & Hortense EllisAlton Ellis & Hortense Ellis1990Compil.
Now You Havf ChangeHortense Ellis1989Single
Song Singing GirlHortense Ellis1989Single
Endless LoveJackie Edwards With Hortense Ellis1984Single
Dream Of Me / Let It Be MeTristan Palmer / Jackie Edwards & Hortense Ellis1982Album
The Queen Of RockersHortense Ellis1982Album
(Love Comes From) Unexpected PlacesHortense Ellis1981Single
I Can't Stand The Rain/Same Complaint / UPSY ComplaintHortense Ellis And Prince Weedy / Joe Gibbs & The Professionals1979Album
Give ThanksHortense Ellis / General Roy1979Album
Love Comes From Unexpected PlacesHortense Ellis1979Single
If You KnowHortense Ellis1979Single
African ChristmasHortense Ellis & Trinity1979Album
Dread Be TrueHortense Ellis1979Single
Lovers RockPat Kelly / Johnny Clarke / Hortense Ellis1979Album
You Send Me / Young Hearts Run FreePat Kelly / Hortense Ellis1979Album
Rub A Dub Style, Come When I Call / I Am Just A GirlMichigan & Smiley / Hortense Ellis & Brentford Disco Set1979Album
If You KnewHortense Ellis1979Album
Sitting In The Park / She A Show OffHortense Ellis / Ranking Joe1979Album
If You KnowHortense Ellis1978Album
SecretlyHortense Ellis1978Single
FeelingsHortense Ellis1978Album
A House Is Not A HomeHortense Ellis1978Single
Rough Rider / If You Should Love MeHortense Ellis, Johnny Clarke1978Album
GirlsHortense Ellis1978Single
Love Up Love Up / House Is Not A HomeSugar Minott / Hortense Ellis1978Album
Ain't That Loving YouHortense Ellis1977Single
Mark My Word / Dread I Love YouHortense Ellis / Dillinger / Queen Tiney1977Album
AnniversaryHortense Ellis1977Single
Jamaica's First Lady Of SongsHortense Ellis1977Album
Willow TreeHortense Ellis1977Single
I'm Still In Love With You BoyHortense Ellis1977Single
Wooden HeartHortense Ellis1976Single
HeHortense Ellis1976Single
Mr. Lee, Mr. LeeHortense Ellis1976Single
Strictly Rock Christmas / 1,2,3, Look At Mr. LeeSteve Golding / Hortense Ellis1976Single
Our Day Will ComeHortense Ellis1976Single
Kiss & Say GoodbyeHortense Ellis1976Single
Super StarHortense Ellis1976Single
Unexpected PlacesHortense Ellis1976Single
Devoted To YouHortense Ellis1975Single
Shirley Come Back To Me / A Good VersionDerrick Morgan & Hortense Ellis / King Tubby & The Aggrovators1975Single
WateringHortense Ellis1975Single
I'm In LoveHortense Ellis1974Single
Baby I Love You (I'm In Love)Hortense Ellis1974Single
Lady LadyHortense Ellis1974Single
Mocking Bird / Corra Bella BabyStranger Cole & Hortense Ellis1973Single
Bringing In The SheavesHortense Ellis And Stranger Cole1972Single
Ain't No Sunshine / You Are EverythingKen Boothe / Lloyd Charmers & Hortense Ellis1972Single
Bringing In The Sheaves / WishboneStranger Cole And Hortense Ellis / The Bunny Lee Allstars1972Single
I Shall Sing / Stand By Your ManHortense Ellis1971Single
My Confession / Mighty OrganStranger Cole / Lascelles Perkins & Hortense Ellis1971Single
Just One More DanceStranger Cole & Hortense Ellis1971Single
Last Date / Cherry PinkHortense Ellis / Pat Satchmo1970Single
To The Other WomanHortense Ellis1970Single
Yours / Give And TakeHortense Ellis, Jeff Barnes1969Single
Somebody Help Me / Rock & ShakeHortense Ellis & Prince Buster's All Stars1967Single
I Need Love (Somebody Help Me) / Another Sad And Lonely NightHortense Ellis / Prince Buster1967Single
Spanish Eyes / Loving WineLynn Taitt with Tommy McCook & The Supersonics / Stranger Cole & Hortense Ellis1967Single
Run Boy Run / Easy SqueezeDudley Sibley, Alton Ellis And Hortense Ellis1967Single
A Man Of Chances / Groovy Kind Of LoveThe Three Tops, Hortense Ellis1967Single
All Rudies In Jail / Easy SqueezeMr. Foundation / Alton Ellis And Hortense Ellis1967Single
Somebody Help Me / Rock & ShakeHortense Ellis & Prince Buster's All Stars1967Single
Wives And Lovers / My EverythingJackie Mittoo / Hortense Ellis1965Single
Don't Gamble With LoveHortense Ellis And Alton Ellis1965Single
I've Been A Fool / Hold Me TenderlyHortense Ellis1965Single
I'll Come Softly / I'm In LoveHortense Ellis & Alton Ellis1963Single
Twelve Minutes To Go / MidnightDuke Reid Group / Hortense Ellis1962Single
True Love / Money Can't Buy LifeHortense Ellis And Stranger Cole / Eric "Monty" Morris1961Single
SecretlyHortense EllisAlbum
I'm GoneDerrick Morgan, Hortense EllisSingle
Why Birds FlyHortense EllisSingle
To The Other WomanHortense EllisSingle
UnknownHortense EllisAlbum
Which Way You Going Natty / Dubwise FreddyHortense Ellis And Clint EastwoodAlbum
Untitled / My EverythingUnknown Artist / Hortense EllisSingle
Woman Of The GhettoHortense EllisSingle
Young Heart Run Free / I Only Live To Love YouHortense EllisSingle
People Make The World Go RoundHortense EllisSingle
With All My HeartHortense EllisSingle
A Wet Scene / HelenaMax Romeo & Burt Lancaster / Hortense Ellis & Max Romeo & The ThingSingle
Lady Of The Night / SympathyHortense Ellis / Bunny Lie LieAlbum
First CutHortense Ellis, Johnny PSingle
Stand By Your Man / See & Blind VersionHortense Ellis, Johnny Sexology And The UpsettersSingle
People Make The World Go Around / Give Love Another TryHortense Ellis / Claudette McLeanSingle
Come To Me Softly / I'll Come SoftlyJimmy James / Hortense EllisSingle
I Am Leaving / A Drastic VersionDerrick Morgan & Hortense EllisSingle
Touch Me In The MorningHortense EllisSingle
Sitting In The ParkHortense EllisSingle
I Am In LoveHortense EllisSingle
Lion Of Judah / We're Gonna Make ItDelroy Wilson & Hortense EllisSingle
SecretlyHortense EllisSingle
Delicious Rockers Vol 1Hortense Ellis And Stranger & Gladdy Also Bobby DavisCompil.
I Can't Stand The Rain / Sugar PlumHortense Ellis / Jackie & HortenseSingle
You've Done Me Wrong / Somewhere Over The RainbowHortense Ellis, Demo CatesSingle
Feel So GoodJohnny Clarke And Hortense EllisAlbum
TeddyHortense Ellis, Basil GabbidonSingle
ReflectionsHortense EllisAlbum
Jah CreationHortense EllisAlbum
Hell & SorrowHortense EllisSingle
You Are EverythingLloyd Charmers & Hortense EllisSingle
If A Dread Only KnewHortense Ellis, Fatman Riddim SectionAlbum
I'm Just A GirlHortense EllisSingle
Patta PattaHortense EllisSingle
Dance Hall Session / SweetheartHugh Griffiths / Hortense EllisAlbum
Love EveryoneHortense EllisSingle
We Are Rolling On / Where The Boys AreStranger Cole & Ken Boothe / Hortense EllisSingle
Baby BabyHortense EllisSingle
Just One LookHortense EllisSingle
Dreadlocks Be True / Stay A WhileHortense EllisAlbum
You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody / Cricket Lovely CricketHortense Ellis / Jah ThomasAlbum
High School Dance / Mocking BirdStranger Cole & Hortense EllisSingle
In Paradise / DearestJohnny Clarke And Hortense Ellis Meets Ossie ScottAlbum
Have A Good TimeHortense EllisSingle
Hell & Sorrow / TribulationHortense Ellis / Big YouthSingle
Skylarking / You Done Me WrongBarrington Levy / Hortense EllisAlbum
Don't Touch Mi TomatoHortense EllisAlbum
Willow Tree / Let Him TryHortense Ellis, Johnny ClarkeSingle
Got To Make ItHortense EllisSingle
Red ShirtHortense EllisSingle
Pauline / Wooden HeartNoel Phillips, Hortense EllisSingle
With All My HeartHortense EllisSingle
Time After TimeHortense EllisSingle
Touch Me In The MorningHortense EllisSingle
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