Sean Paul popularized dancehall. He's eager to start anew with a fresh tour.

Los Angeles — Since Sean Paul's dancehall anthem "Get Busy" topped the Billboard Hot 100 21 years ago, it's old enough to hear at the club. “It’s changed for me now,” Sean Paul told The Associated Press via Zoom from his Jamaican studio of the song’s history. I say, ‘Get busy,’ to get the youngsters to do their homework or tidy up.”  

Since introducing dancehall riddims and reggae to new audiences, Paul has released six ambitious albums, including two after the coronavirus pandemic: 2021's “Live n Livin” and 2022's “Scorcha.” He's a loving parent and husband. “Jodi” in “Get Busy” lyrics “Shake dat ting, yo, Donna Donna / Jodi and Rebecca”? He married her. And his desire to compose happy, danceable music has never faltered.  

He calls “Get Busy” “a timeless piece for me.” Whenever I perform a song, I aim to relive the butterflies I felt when flirting with the first female on the first dance floor. Just a feeling.” He wants to spread optimism. "I get a lot of help with riddim tracks, the genre is infectious," he explains. “It brings joy.”  

Life experience drives his passion. “Like most teenagers, I struggled to find myself and understand life. My father was imprisoned. He believes the single mom struggled to ensure our consciousness. Music was released.

That enthusiasm is now fueling his 22-date U.S. tour, the "Greatest Tour," starting May 2 at House of Blues in Orlando, Florida, and ending June 16 at the Fillmore in Charlotte, North Carolina. Why am I doing it now? I think people are ready for me again, says Paul.  

"I collaborated with reggaetón acts last year," he says, citing dancefloor successes like "Niña Bonita" with Feid and "Dem Time Deh" with Manuel Turizo. He has recorded a few solo tracks, like the catchy “Greatest,” and promises more mindful tunes like 2016's “Never Give Up.”

“Jamaica is beautiful but has many problems. However, we face challenges, he argues. “Many people don't know me for that type of material, but it's as important in my career.”  

Fans will sample everything at his shows. He says “good vibes,” mostly: “I think people feel the fun from me and it bounces back and forth.”  

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