56 years ago a beautiful angel called La Toya Yvonne Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana. It didn't take long for her earthly mission to become apparent. Toy Toy was sent from above to spread a message of peace, love and big backdoor-rubbing through a collection of uplifting songs that simultaneously soothe the soul and inspire random chest-to-chests. With so many classic anthems under her belt, it's hard to single out just one for her birthday celebration but, after much deliberation, I've settled on her iconic 1988 US 12" single "Such A Wicked Love".
The Full Force-produced urban-pop jam is an absolute triumph. La Toya delivers one of her finest vocals and shows her edgy hood credentials with a stunning rap. It's an extraordinarily catchy piece of fluff that should have gone straight to number one. And probably would have for anyone else. Instead, it was destined to become a cult classic. That status was helped by an unforgettable performance on a Bob Hope special in 1989.
According to legend (and Wikipedia), Toy Toy's electric performance was censored for prime-time viewing. It seems her sensual dance moves were too much for American viewers. I can understand why they were overwhelmed. The thinking man's Jackson delights with choreography that would paralyse Beyoncé and, bizarrely, spends an inordinate amount of time handing out hats to unimpressed spectators. You know your fave could never - so take a seat, shut up and bask in the magic of a master entertainer.
Here's to the next 56 years, Toy! x