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Roy Ayers

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Rupert Clarke (born September 10, 1975), best known by his stage name Rupee, is a soca musician from Barbados. He was born in military barracks in Germany to a German mother and a Bajan father, who was serving in the British armed forces at the time. He later migrated to Barbados. He is signed to Atlantic Records.

By the age of nine, Rupee had lived three different cultures - German, English, and Barbadian.

Spending his first years in England, he was exposed to a contrast of sounds which reflected his parents' diverse backgrounds: calypso on the side of his West Indian father, pop and rock and roll from his mother. He and his siblings would often perform on stage, coming up with all sorts of chants, rhymes and antics to tease the audience. Rupee eventually moved to Barbados in 1985. He had his first major break after winning the Richard Stoute Teen Talent Competition in 1993, when he was a schoolboy at Harrison College.

Ayers was born in Los Angeles, and grew up in a musical family, where his father played trombone and his mother played piano. At the age of five, he was given his first pair of vibraphone mallets by Lionel Hampton. The area of Los Angeles that Ayers grew up in, now known as ""South Central"" but then known as ""South Park"", was the epicenter of the Southern California Black music scene. The schools he attended (Wadsworth Elementary, Nevins Middle School, and Thomas Jefferson High School) were all close to the famed Central Avenue, Los Angeles' equivalent of Harlem's Lenox Avenue and Chicago's State Street. Roy would likely have been exposed to music as it not only emanated from the many nightclubs and bars in the area, but also poured out of many of the homes where the musicians who kept the scene alive lived in and around Central. During high school, Ayers sang in the church choir[8] and fronted a band named The Latin Lyrics, in which he played steel guitar and piano.[9] His high school, Thomas Jefferson High School, produced some of the most talented new musicians, such as Dexter Gordon." 

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