Lady Saw began performing with local sound systems at the age of fifteen.
She went on to work with the Stereo One system in Kingston. Her performances brought her to the attention of record producers and she recorded her first single for producer Piper, and “Love Me or Lef Me”, produced by Olive Shaw received significant airplay.
She had her first hit with “If Him Lef” and she topped the Jamaican charts with “Good Man”.
She soon became known for her slack style, with songs such as “Stab Up De Meat”. Her performances were banned in some parts of Jamaica, though equally lewd male performances were not.
This prompted her to record “Freedom of Speech” in protest.
She enjoyed a big hit in Jamaica with “Hardcore” in 1994, and followed it with “Welding Torch.”
She also recorded “Condom,” warning girls of the dangers of unprotected heterosexual sex.
By the mid-1990s she had moved towards “conscious” lyrics. In 1999 she had a major hit in the United States with “Smile”, recorded with Vitamin C, which peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100, also a major hit in New Zealand and Canada, and certified gold with over 500,000 sales.
In 2002, her collaboration with No Doubt, “Underneath It All”, which reached number three in the US and sold more than three million copies, reaching triple platinum certification. The track won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Performance by a Duo or Group’.
She is the first female deejay to win a Grammy Award and to be certified as a triple-platinum artist.She is also the first woman to headline dancehall shows outside her native Jamaica. She launched her own record label, Divas Records, in January 2010.
Lady Saw was featured along with Nicki Minaj on rapper Trina’s song “Dang A Lang” from her 2010 album Amazin’.
In November 2012 she announced that she was turning her back on dancehall and would be concentrating on Gospel music in the future.
Her 2014 album, Alter Ego, which features Beres Hammond, Flo Rida, and Ali Campbell, was released in November, and will help to fund the foundation of the same name that she is setting up to help abused and needy women.