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Tonton David is a French Reggae singer born in Réunion. He is renowned for his raggamuffin performances, but uses influences of soul music, gro kâ (from the French West Indies), the Zairian rumba.
Tonton David had a turbulent childhood in a suburb of Paris. He left his family at 14, and managed to make a career in music with powerful and political lyrics. In 1990 Tonton David had his big break when he was featured in a TV report about "Black Paris". Tonton David's performance resulted in signing with Virgin record label. Shortly after, he recorded "Peuples du monde", which was featured on the famous French rap compilation Rapattitudes.
Le blues de la racaille released on 2 December 1991, was his debut album where he explored social issues such as unemployment, poverty, racism, becoming a figurehead for a whole generation of disenchanted French youth. In 1991 he performed in front of an audience of 12,000 music fans at the Fête des Kafs in Saint Denis, La Réunion and in 1992 at Reggae Sunsplash festival in Kingston, Jamaica. In 1993, he released his second album Allez leur dire recorded in Memphis, Tennessee. "Sûr et certain" taken from the album was released as a single. 1995 saw as yet his biggest success with the song "Chacun sa route" from the soundtrack of the film Un indien dans la ville. His third album Récidiviste in 1995 gave the successful singles, "Pour tout le monde pareil" and a collaboration with rai star Cheb Mami in "Fugitifs". The fourth album Faut qu'ça arrête was more influenced by Haitian music out of collaboration with Haitian musician Papa Jube.