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IT is 2002 and rising artiste Sean Paul has hit paydirt with the release of his sophomore album Dutty Rock.

As it turns out, this album goes on to become a monster hit and introduces the music world to a new star out of Jamaica.

The 20-track album featured production from The Neptunes, Jeremy Harding, Delroy 'Delly Ranks' Foster, Steven 'Lenky' Marsden, Troyton Rami and Steelie and Clevie.

Dutty Rock was a ground-breaking album for a Jamaican dancehall artiste. The set opened at number nine on the Billboard 200 album chart with first week sales of 65,000 copies.

It also sold well outside of North America, clocking respectable positions on album charts in several European territories. In the United Kingdom, Dutty Rock debuted at number two while in Canada it hit the Top 10.

The album provided a number of firsts. It was the first album by a Jamaican artiste to score five Top 20 singles in North America and the first album by a Jamaican artiste to debut inside the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 album chart.

The first single Gimme The Light, which was produced by Rami, was first featured on VP Records' popular Reggae Gold series. Powered by the Buzz riddim, Gimme The Light raced to number seven on the Billboard Hot 100.

When pop singer Beyoncé needed an island twist on her Baby Boy single, she summoned Sean Paul. The track appeared on her 2003 album Dangerously In Love but it was included on a re-released version of Dutty Rock and became Sean Paul's first number one single on the Billboard Hot 100.

Dutty Rock also yielded hits with Get Busy, another number one single which was produced by Marsden for his inescapable Diwali riddim.

Other hits from Dutty Rock included I'm Still In Love With You featuring Sasha, a track that was featured on Steelie and Clevie's Old To The New compilation.

I'm Still In Love With You reached number 14 in the United States. Another song, Like Glue, produced by Tony Kelly on his Buy Out riddim, reached number 13 in the US and hit the Top 10 in the UK, Canada, Ireland and Switzerland.

Dutty Rock would go on to sell over two million copies in the US. Globally, the album sold more than six million units.

At the 2004 Grammy Awards, Dutty Rock won for Best Reggae Album. A few months earlier, Sean Paul copped the MTV Europe award for Best New Artiste.

Sean Paul's fifth studio album Tomahawk Technique is due for release on January 27. To date two singles from the album, namely She Doesn't Mind and Got 2 Luv Ya featuring Alexis Jordan, have topped European charts.

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