Fri | May 24, 2019

No wishes, Tucker thankful for blessings

Published:Friday | September 29, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
Junior Tucker
Junior Tucker
Junior Tucker
File Junior Tucker ministers to the crowd at Fun In The Son concert at Hope Gardens in 2006.

Leslie Tucker Jnr is known mostly as Junior Tucker for two reasons - he has the same Christian name as his father, and 'Junior' as has been part of his stage name in a career which has spanned 45 years - and counting.

Twenty of those years have been in gospel music, and the Church was part of the celebration as, last Saturday, September 23, Junior quietly ticked off another year - with a sense of satisfaction. Tucker told The Gleaner, "My day was spent with close friends and family, something I always try to do. I was with my wife, Trudy, and close friends, friends from the church, all my children. I like quiet stuff. I don't like the big, big things," Tucker said.

Tucker, whose popular music hits include Don't Test (the title track of an album for Virgin Records), Love of a Lifetime and Mr Telephone Man, said he did not make any special birthday wishes. "I kind of feel very strongly that I am in a good place," Tucker said, giving thanks for his blessings and saying he is a "kind of zone" where he feels a sense of purpose. "I am grateful for where I am, and I just want to keep going," he said.

Last year was his 50th birthday and Tucker got a chance to reflect on his life and saw it literally play out on stage. "We did a play, Songs of a Lifetime. It was a musical and we had people playing the different stages of my life. That was really good," Tucker said.

The church played a significant role in the 2016 celebration, as it did in this year's quieter birthday acknowledgement. Tucker is a minister at Family Word and Worship, which meets at 8 Haining Road, New Kingston, on Sundays at 10 a.m. A huge cake for all the members to have a piece of was part of the birthday experience.

After living abroad for some time, Tucker has been back in Jamaica for three years, although he points out that he visited very often and made sure that his children were grounded in Jamaica.

"I have always taught them to understand our heritage. I have been coming to Jamaica always," Tucker said.

He is currently working on doing a 'best of' compilation, getting the required clearances with the intention of putting out the project in 2018.

"I will be looking at the whole career. I started when I was five years old," Tucker said.

That project has been in the works for "a while", and Tucker said, "The Church is my focus right now." And even there the stage name resonates, as Tucker said he is called Junior, Pastor Junior and simply JT.