We were never des­per­ate


The last time Sylvia Camp­bell spoke with her son, Dal­ton Har­ris, was in Oc­to­ber. Then, the singer had spo­ken about him grow­ing up in dirt poor con­di­tions. Camp­bell in­sists that things were not as bad as Dal­ton made it out to be, adding that although she did not get elec­tric­ity at her home un­til 2002, they were happy. “Wi a di first peo­ple inna San­guinetti (Claren­don) have a PlayS­ta­tion,” she said. Camp­bell said that her fam­ily ate lots of chicken back and tin mack­erel for pro­tein, but they were never starv­ing. She said, too, that the fam­ily was never des­per­ate, even though she was forced to go it alone as a sin­gle par­ent. She said that af­ter her son made the com­ment about grow­ing up dirt poor, he called her and they spoke about it. “Me a talk to him ‘bout long time days and me seh: ‘Dal­ton, a you me a wait pon to buy me dream house’,” Camp­bell said. The mother of seven, who lives in a rented house in San­guinetti, is hop­ing that her son will one day build a two-storey house in the com­mu­nity for the en­joy­ment of the fam­ily.

“Him have a song weh him sing, Pau­per. Part of it weh hit me a weh him seh: ‘Mi mother need bread and but­ter’. Me need bread and but­ter now. A time fi me get me bread and but­ter now,” she said.

“Me want fi can en­joy some a weh him have, if a even fi memba seh a me carry him come here nine months,” she added.


Dal­ton, who won the Dig­i­cel Ris­ing Stars com­pe­ti­tion in Ja­maica when he was not yet 17 years old, left his mother’s house when he was 15. Camp­bell said that she did not ben­e­fit from his suc­cess.

“Me used to pull a lit­tle suit­case and sell things and one day him seh: ‘Mommy, yuh inna the sun a toil eeh man, but things a go bet­ter fi we’,” Camp­bell said.

Camp­bell said that dur­ing the days when she cam­paigned to help win votes for Dal­ton when he com­peted in the Ris­ing Stars com­pe­ti­tion, her son promised to take her out of poverty.

She said that af­ter he won the com­pe­ti­tion, he gave her $2,000 and 50 phonecards, and then $20,000 out of his $1 mil­lion win­nings.

Camp­bell also rub­bished claims that Dal­ton has 22 sib­lings.

She said that she is only aware of one son that Dal­ton’s fa­ther had out­side of their re­la­tion­ship.

“The boy just wicked. Mi nuh know where this 22 come from,” she said.

Camp­bell said events of the past two weeks con­firm to her that “the boy don’t like me.”

And even although Dal­ton is tipped to win X Fac­tor UK this year, Camp­bell said she will not be watch­ing it on TV.

“Mi happy fi weh him a do, me feel proud fi weh him a do, and me al­ways a go still love him,” she said.

“Me wish him all the best in the com­pe­ti­tion,” she said, even as she ap­pealed to him not to alien­ate him­self from fam­ily mem­bers back home.

“Him sis­ter dy­ing to see him come, so even if him nah come back come look fi we, I hope him re­mem­ber a mi still a him mother and him have a sis­ter and brothers who a look for­ward to see him,” she said.

The win­ner of The X Fac­tor is awarded a £1 mil­lion (ap­prox­i­mately J$162,632,400) record­ing con­tract with Syco Mu­sic, in as­so­ci­a­tion with Sony Mu­sic.

Sylvia Camp­bell says she is wait­ing on her son, Dal­ton Har­ris, to buy her dream house.

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