Occasionally, an recording artist at the top of their game, makes the sudden and surprising decision to pack it all in. For fans and record executives, such behavior may defy all logic. After all, who would give up the money and fame that comes with international stardom? The answer: Billy Ocean.
Before topping the American charts with hits like “Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run),” “Loverboy,” and “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going,” Ocean was a musician in the U.K. struggling to find success. He finally broke through with the song “Love Really Hurts Without You.” It was a big hit in England but only a moderate hit in America. Universal acclaim still eluded him and it took another eight years for Ocean to find success in America.
Following the release of 1988 album Tear Down These Walls, which produced the number 1 hit, “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car,” Ocean left the music business. But now, more than two decades later, Ocean is back with new music and has a new album dropping September 4th.
He recently talked to Rollingstone.com about where he’s been, why he stepped away from the business, and what message he wants to convey with his new album.,
Ocean tells RS, “I wanted to spend some time with my kids. Before I stopped, I was on the move all the time. I was from one hotel to one hotel to another country, flying here, flying there. In the meantime, my kids are growing up. I’m missing them. I’m missing home. I’m missing my wife.”
Ocean added, “I thought the best thing to do, before this thing destroys me, was to get out and spend some time with my family,” he says. “Also, my mother died in 1989. I just needed a break.”