DHQ Carlene ready for another dancehall queen contest | Entertainment

Carlene Smith, the dancehall queen who boldly ushered in the naughty ’90s and clothed herself as the ultimate fashionista long before the term was popular, is gearing up to stage a unique dancehall queen competition.

She insists that the winner will not be judged by their ability to seamlessly flip on to their head tops or split and land with a thud on the cold concrete.

“No, no, no! It is not about that at all. It is not about pole dancing or being in a strip club. Over the years I have heard so many girls say they would want to enter a dancehall queen contest but they can’t split or they can’t go on their head tops. I know that those are skills, but I wish they would stop doing these stunt dancing that see them hurting and even killing themselves,” Carlene said.

“People who do those routines in gymnasts are performing on padded surface or something designed for that purpose, not cold concrete. If you can’t do those kind of acrobatics, you can still enter my competition,” Carlene,48, told THE WEEKEND STAR.


In some ways, the contest will be modelled off beauty pageants which see the winners reigning for the entire year rather than enjoying one night of glory. It will be open to women across the globe and the winner will receive the equivalent of $1 million in cash and prizes

“Presentation will be the main factor and there are plans for the winner to be involved in dancehall events and music videos during the year. And other roles as ambassadors will be offered to runners-up. Entry forms outlining the details will be ready early in June,” she said.

Carlene was crowned queen at the groundbreaking Dancehall versus Uptown fashion clash nearly 30 years ago, at the age of 18. She was the first officially recognised dancehall queen, and says that although she fully endorses all the competitions that followed, she has never officially handed over her crown. She starred in the popular Red Label commercial with Chaka Demus and Pliers. Her time in the spotlight was heightened when she and Beenie Man later became dancehall’s famous power couple.

Carlene, with her signature blonde wig, diamond-studded front tooth, thigh-high boots and charming personality, was the minx who was pin-up-girl-ready in the morning, cooking up a storm in the kitchen in the afternoon and corporate schmoosing by evening. And, speaking of pin-ups, a famous poster of Carlene is one of the dancehall artefacts buried in the Jamaica50 time capsule, alongside a rare set of albums from Bob Marley. The time capsule is sealed at the Bank of Jamaica and will be opened when Jamaica celebrates its centenary independence anniversary in 2062.

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