Banton, Gemini, was born in the Parish of St.Elizabeth,
Jamaica, West Indies.During his early childhood, George
sang in his hometown church choir at the United Brethren
In Christ Church. Later, he started singing solo in
numerous churches throughout the island, including the
Church of God of Prophecy, the New Testament Church
of God, and the Santa Cruz Baptist Church, among others.
At the age 18, George learned
to play the guitar and formed his own Gospel group,
"The Hope Brothers". After two years, George
left the Hope Brothers and moved to Kingston.
In 1970, he decided to venture
into a different arena; he wrote and produced a Reggae
tune called "I'm a Lonely Boy". The song did
not make the chart. He realized his strength was in
gospel and Soul music. One night while in concert at
an Omara Rd Church, Mr. Lawrence, the director of the
"Gospel Light Band" - the number one gospel
group in the country- auditioned George and immediately
contracted him to join the group. This was the turning
point in George's Life.
In 1972, George was involved
with two groups that emerged from the split of the Gospel
Light Band. First, "The Insight Gospel Group",
and ultimately "The Grace Thrillers", where
he became lead singer.
In 1973, the Grace Thrillers
recorded their first Gospel hit, "Too Late Shall
be Your Cry", which was written by George, and
it became the number one Gospel hit song in the country.
The group went on to record five additional singles,
and made another hit with "It's Just About Time".
In 1974, the Grace Thrillers
produced their first Gospel album called "I've
Got a Love", which was released through the Caribbean,
Canada, Europe, and the USA. In that year, George continued
to sing with both groups until 1976, when he migrated
Upon his arrival in Canada,
George started on the same course. He donated his time
and the entire proceeds from his concerts to numerous
In 1977, George formed a 7-piece
Gospel band called "The Bantons". The group
recorded and released their first single, called "Glory
to his Name" on the Love Light Label. Unfortunately,
the group dissolved in 1980.
George decided to take a new
lease on life after overcoming many emotional trials
in his personal relationships. Through this, his cousin,
Ronnie Williams suggested that he record "Faithful
and True", and R&B song that perfectly suited
his situation. Initially, Banton hesitated to cross-over,
torn by his devotion to serve god and to sing Gospel
"Faithful and True",
George Banton's first departure from Gospel music, stayed
at #1 on the Canadian Charts for 10 weeks in 1981. Many
of the lyrics in the song relate closely to Christian
themes, and to his surprise, the gospel overtones of
the recording attributed greatly to its success.
Up until the early 90's, George
experienced international success with his departure
from Gospel music, releasing 9 albums and being honored
with two Juno nominations. But George was still not
satisfied. He knew that his true calling was to serve
god. During his departure from Gospel music, he maintained
his religious beliefs and standards, applying them to
the material he chose, the venues he performed, and
the life he led.
One night, a revelation came
to him as he slept. He dreamt he was in his home town
of Burnt Savana, St.Elizabeth, on the Island of Jamaica,
visiting with his friends and family. A crazy old Woman
approached them, with a strong warning for George. A
warning from God. He was to turn his life around, he
was to "pick up the cross" and follow the
Lord. Since that defining moment, George Banton realized
that the Lord has called him to do His work.
Amid criticism and speculation,
George marked his return to Gospel music by recording
"Jesus is Everything to Me". This, along with
his second come-back album, "Oh How Sweet it is
to Walk with Jesus ( A tribute to his mother )",
George has experienced renewed success as a Gospel singer
that is totally committed to Gospel music.
George is thankful to
the Lord for sheltering him through the years, and for
giving him another chance to live FOR HIM.
Biography by Neil Burke - PDF
George Banton Website