Kenneth Nelson Biography
“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”
This quote by Jamaican singer-songwriter who became an international musical and cultural icon, Bob Marley sums up ‘the man’ Kenneth Nelson, whose joyful and positive personality, along with his integrity and abilities greatly impact those he encounters throughout life’s journey.
Bro. Kenny as he is affectionately and professionally known is a reggae gospel singer, who uses his talent to glorify the Creator and share positive messages with people who will hear his songs.
He was born on October 24, 1965 in the humble Siloah community of Windsor District, in the bread basket parish St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, where he spent the first five years of his life, before journeying with his parents Derrick and Maud Nelson to live in the “Russia community” of Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, where he grew up along with his five (5) brothers and two (2) sisters.
His ability to socialize with others comes easily for him, as he is always surrounded by his family, church family, relatives and friends. One can tell that he has a joyful spirit as he is always laughing or singing. He is a fun loving person who loves to socialize, listen to music, always singing and loves to cook; sometimes he shows off his cooking skills by posting pictures on social media for his friends and fans to see what he is up to.
He was educated at the Sir Clifford Campbell Primary School in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland and the Savanna-la-Mar Secondary School (now known as Godfrey Stewart High).
During his teen years he got baptized and became a member of the church choir, singing at conventions and other church events. At age fifteen (15) he realized that he really had a talent to sing, not just with the choir, but also as a soloist. However, he didn’t think about a singing career as that wasn’t part of the goals he set for himself.
In 1985, Bro. Kenny gained employment at the once popular Imperial Theatre in Savanna-la-Mar, where he worked as a Projector Operator, learning all he could in that field, until he migrated to the United States of America in April 1990. After migrating, resided with his dad Derrick and wife Yvette Nelson in Washington DC. He then relocated to Maryland, where he is currently residing with his wife Stacy-Ann Nelson and their five (5) children.
Though he did not plan on making a career in music, he realized that once you are destined to do something it has to be fulfilled, so at age 45 he made the all important decision to do music starting out on a part time basis, considering that he was already fully employed.
He became a member his church group ‘All for Christ’, performing at various events and recording an album. He then teamed up with brother John, calling themselves ‘Courage Brothers’, performing in various parts of the USA and also recording an album titled “Christian Man”, before commencing his solo career.
The singer is motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and many life events, but from a musical perspective, he loves music of various genres and is motivated by singers such as Kenny Rogers, Billy Ocean, Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, John Holt, UK based gospel singer King Author and Jim Reeves (especially his old time gospel songs). Richie Stephens is the main artiste who inspires Bro. Kenny, as they grew up together in the same community and Richie turned out to be a famous singer. People often look at Bro. Kenny’s pictures and comment that he looks like Richie Stephens and this to him is a good compliment, as he sees the soulful reggae artiste as an outstanding person from humble beginnings as himself.
Though he listens and appreciates many musical genres, Bro. Kenny loves to sing gospel on reggae beats and has been producing songs that are appreciated and enjoyed by many. He has achieved much since launching out as a soloist; recording numerous singles, including “Lord you are My Inspiration”, “Jesus”, “Jesus Shed His Blood”, etc. During the last week of November 2017, Bro. Kenny travelled to Western Jamaica where he and a team comprised of videographers, director and others did the video for “Jesus Shed His Blood”.
His greatest achievement so far as a solo gospel singer is the release of his album consisting of 10 tracks, titled “Jesus is Coming”, which was officially released on October 13, 2017.
He is not signed to any label but professionally records, mixes and masters his songs when he is in Jamaica, at Highlight Records, which is owned by well known Westmoreland musician and sound engineer, Sly Francis.
What is hilarious about this joyful soul is that of all musical instruments he loves keyboard the most and owns two, but cannot play a note and may never learn to play them.
He has performed at many gospel concerts with the group All for Christ in Philadelphia, Virginia and other states. As a soloist he performs at church events in Maryland and also at gospel concerts in New York.
Bro. Kenny shares that he doesn’t know how long his singing career will span, but that he allows himself to be lead by the spirit, “The Bible says your gift will make room for you and put you before great kings, so I just lay back, humble myself and make that work for me. I put my thing out there and people see it and call me for concerts, but I allow myself to be lead by the spirit, choosing wisely where I perform.”
Bro. Kenny intends to continue writing, singing and performing to transmit his messages through music to let people mediate and make positive changes in their lives.
The journey continues!!
Social Media: Bro Kenny Nelson