Jersey

Jersey (/ˈdʒɜːrzi/, French: [ʒɛʁzɛ]; Jèrriais: Jèrri IPA: [dʒɛri]), officially the Bailiwick of Jersey (French: Bailliage de Jersey; Jèrriais: Bailliage dé Jèrri), is a Crown dependency[9] located near the coast of Normandy, France.[10] Jersey was part of the Duchy of Normandy, whose dukes went on to become kings of England from 1066. After Normandy was lost by the kings of England in the 13th century, and the ducal title surrendered to France, Jersey and the other Channel Islands remained attached to the English crown.

The bailiwick consists of the island of Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, along with surrounding uninhabited islands and rocks collectively named Les Dirouilles, Les Écréhous, Les Minquiers, Les Pierres de Lecq,[11] and other reefs. Although the bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey are often referred to collectively as the Channel Islands, the "Channel Islands" are not a constitutional or political unit. Jersey has a separate relationship to the Crown from the other Crown dependencies of Guernsey and the Isle of Man, although all are held by the monarch of the United Kingdom.[12]

Jersey is a self-governing parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy, with its own financial, legal and judicial systems,[5] and the power of self-determination.[13] The Lieutenant Governor on the island is the personal representative of the Queen. It is the second closest of the Channel Islands to France, after Alderney.

Jersey is not part of the United Kingdom,[14] and has an international identity separate from that of the UK,[15] but the UK is constitutionally responsible for the defence of Jersey.[16] The definition of United Kingdom in the British Nationality Act 1981 is interpreted as including the UK and the Islands together.[17] The European Commission have confirmed in a written reply to the European Parliament in 2003[18] that Jersey is within the Union as a European Territory for whose external relationships the UK is responsible. Jersey is not fully part of the European Union but has a special relationship with it, notably being treated as within the European Community for the purposes of free trade in goods.[19]

British cultural influence on the island is evident in its use of English as the main language and the British pound as its primary currency, even if some people still speak the Norman language. Additional cultural commonalities include driving on the left, access to the BBC and ITV regions, a school curriculum following that of England, and the popularity of British sports, including football, cricket, and rugby.[20][21]

Bailiwick of Jersey

  • Bailliage de Jersey  (French)
  • Bailliage dé Jèrri  (Norman)
Anthem: God Save The Queen  (official)
Island Home  (official) a
Location of  Jersey  (green) in Europe  (green & dark grey)
Location of  Jersey  (green)

in Europe  (green & dark grey)

Location of Jersey
StatusCrown dependency
Capital
and largest city
Saint Helier
49°11.4′N 2°6.6′W / 49.1900°N 2.1100°W
Official languagesEnglish
(de facto)
Jèrriais[1](de jure)
Recognised regional languagesFrench (historical)
Ethnic groups
(2011[2])
Religion
Church of England
GovernmentParliamentary democracy under constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Elizabeth II
Stephen Dalton
• Bailiff
Sir William Bailhache[3]
John Le Fondré Jr
LegislatureStates Assembly
Establishment
• Administrative separation from mainland Normandy

1204
• Liberation from German occupation

9 May 1945
Area
• Total
118.2[4] km2 (45.6 sq mi) (unranked)
• Water (%)
0
Population
• 2014 estimate
100,080[5] (198th)
• Density
819/km2 (2,121.2/sq mi) (13thb)
GDP (PPP)2015 estimate
• Total
$6.00 billion (£4.57 billion)[6]
• Per capita
$60,000 (£45,783)
HDI (2008)Steady 0.985[7]
very high · not ranked
CurrencyPound sterlingc (GBP)
Time zoneUTC (Greenwich Mean Timed)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Driving sideleft
Calling code+44
Patron saintSt. Helier
ISO 3166 codeJE
Internet TLD.je
  1. by Gerard Le Feuvre; official for occasions when distinguishing anthem required.
  2. Rank based on population density of Channel Islands, i.e. including the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
  3. The Government of Jersey issue their own sterling notes and coins (see Jersey pound).
  4. In a referendum on 16 October 2008, voters rejected a proposal to adopt Central European Time by 72.4%.[8]

Toponymy

Origin of the name

The Channel Islands are mentioned in the Antonine Itinerary as the following: Sarnia, Caesarea, Barsa, Silia and Andium, but Jersey cannot be identified specifically because none corresponds directly to the present names.[22] The name Caesarea has been used as the Latin name for Jersey (also in its French version Césarée) since William Camden's Britannia,[23] and is used in titles of associations and institutions today. The Latin name Caesarea was also applied to the colony of New Jersey as Nova Caesarea.[24][25]

Andium, Agna and Augia were used in antiquity.

Scholars variously surmise that Jersey and Jèrri derive from jarð (Old Norse for "earth") or jarl (earl), or perhaps a personal name, Geirr ("Geirr's Island").[26] The ending -ey denotes an island[27][28] (as in Guernsey or Surtsey).

History

Assize d'Heritage
An 1893 painting of the Assize d'Heritage by John St Helier Lander.

Jersey history is influenced by its strategic location between the northern coast of France and the southern coast of England; the island's recorded history extends over a thousand years.

La Cotte de St Brelade is a Palaeolithic site inhabited before rising sea levels transformed Jersey into an island. Jersey was a centre of Neolithic activity, as demonstrated by the concentration of dolmens. Evidence of Bronze Age and early Iron Age settlements can be found in many locations around the island.

Additional archaeological evidence of Roman influence has been found, in particular at Les Landes, the coastal headland site at Le Pinacle, where remains of a primitive structure are attributed to Gallo-Roman temple worship (fanum).[29]

Jersey was part of Neustria with the same Gallo-Frankish population as the continental mainland. Jersey, the whole Channel Islands and the Cotentin peninsula (probably with the Avranchin) came formerly under the control of the duke of Brittany during the Viking invasions, because the king of the Franks was unable to defend them, however they remained in the archbishopric of Rouen. Jersey was invaded by Vikings in the 9th century. In 933 it was annexed to the future Duchy of Normandy, together with the other Channel Islands, Cotentin and Avranchin, by William Longsword, count of Rouen and it became one of the Norman Islands. When William's descendant, William the Conqueror, conquered England in 1066, the Duchy of Normandy and the kingdom of England were governed under one monarch.[30] The Dukes of Normandy owned considerable estates in the island, and Norman families living on their estates established many of the historical Norman-French Jersey family names. King John lost all his territories in mainland Normandy in 1204 to King Philip II Augustus, but retained possession of Jersey and the other Channel Islands.[31]

In the Treaty of Paris (1259), the English king formally surrendered his claim to the duchy of Normandy and ducal title, and since then the islands have been internally self-governing territories of the English crown and latterly the British crown.[32]

On 7 October 1406, 1,000 French men at arms led by Pero Niño invaded Jersey, landing at St Aubin's Bay and defeated the 3,000 defenders but failed to capture the island.[33]:50–1

In the late 16th century, islanders travelled across the North Atlantic to participate in the Newfoundland fisheries.[34] In recognition for help given to him during his exile in Jersey in the 1640s, King Charles II of England gave Vice Admiral Sir George Carteret, bailiff and governor, a large grant of land in the American colonies in between the Hudson and Delaware rivers, which he promptly named New Jersey. It is now a state in the United States.[35][36]

Jour d'la Libéthâtion Jèrri 9 d'Mai 2012 81
Liberation Day celebrations in Jersey, 9 May 2012

Aware of the military importance of Jersey, the British government had ordered that the island be heavily fortified. On 6 January 1781, a French invasion force of 2,000 men set out to take over the island, but only half of the force arrived and landed. The Battle of Jersey lasted about half an hour, with English successfully defending the island. There were about thirty casualties on each side, and the English took 600 French prisoners who were subsequently sent to England. The French commanders were slain.

Trade laid the foundations of prosperity, aided by neutrality between England and France.[37] The Jersey way of life involved agriculture, milling, fishing, shipbuilding and production of woollen goods. 19th-century improvements in transport links brought tourism to the island.

During the Second World War, some citizens were evacuated to the UK but most remained. Jersey was occupied by Germany from 1 July 1940 until 9 May 1945, when Germany surrendered.[38] During this time the Germans constructed many fortifications using Soviet slave labour. After 1944, supplies from mainland France were interrupted by the D-Day landings, and food on the island became scarce. The SS Vega was sent to the island carrying Red Cross supplies and news of the success of the Allied advance in Europe. The Channel Islands were one of the last places in Europe to be liberated. 9 May is celebrated as the island's Liberation Day, where there are celebrations in Liberation Square.

Politics

States Building in St Helier Jersey
The States building in St. Helier

Jersey's unicameral legislature is the States Assembly. It includes 49 elected members: 8 senators (elected on an island-wide basis), 12 Connétables (often called 'constables', heads of parishes) and 29 deputies (representing constituencies), all elected for four-year terms as from the October 2011 elections.[39] There are also five non-voting members appointed by the Crown: the Bailiff, the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey, the Dean of Jersey, the Attorney General and Solicitor General.[40] Jersey has one of the lowest voter turnouts internationally, with just 33% of the electorate voting in 2005, putting it well below the 77% European average for that year.[41]

The Council of Ministers, consisting of a Chief Minister and nine ministers, makes up part of the Government of Jersey.[42][43] Each minister may appoint up to two assistant ministers.[44] A Chief Executive is head of the civil service.[45] Some government functions are carried out in the island's 12 parishes.

The Bailiff is President (presiding officer) of the States Assembly,[46] head of the judiciary and as civic head of the island carries out various ceremonial roles.

As one of the Crown dependencies, Jersey is autonomous and self-governing, with its own independent legal, administrative and fiscal systems.[47] In 1973, the Royal Commission on the Constitution set out the duties of the Crown as including: ultimate responsibility for the 'good government' of the Crown dependencies; ratification of island legislation by Order in Council (Royal Assent); international representation, subject to consultation with the island authorities before concluding any agreement which would apply to them; ensuring the islands meet their international obligations; and defence.[48]

Queen Elizabeth II reigns in Jersey as Queen of the United Kingdom and her other Realms and Territories.[49]

Jour d'la Libéthâtion Jèrri 9 d'Mai 2012 12
Sir John Chalmers McColl as Lieutenant Governor of Jersey

"The Crown" is defined by the Law Officers of the Crown as the "Crown in right of Jersey".[50] The Queen's representative and adviser in the island is the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey. He is a point of contact between Jersey ministers and the United Kingdom government and carries out executive functions in relation to immigration control, deportation, naturalisation and the issue of passports.[51] Since September 2011, the incumbent Lieutenant Governor has been General Sir John McColl.

Legal system

Jersey is a distinct jurisdiction for the purposes of conflict of laws, separate from the other Channel Islands, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.[52]

Jersey law has been influenced by several different legal traditions, in particular Norman customary law, English common law and modern French civil law.[53] Jersey's legal system is therefore described as 'mixed' or 'pluralistic', and sources of law are in French and English languages, although since the 1950s the main working language of the legal system is English.

The principal court is the Royal Court, with appeals to the Jersey Court of Appeal and, ultimately, to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The Bailiff is head of the judiciary; the Bailiff and the Deputy Bailiff are appointed by the Crown. Other members of the island's judiciary are appointed by the Bailiff.

Parishes

Jersey Map
The parishes of Jersey

Administratively, Jersey is divided into 12 parishes. All border on the sea. They were named after the Christian saints to whom their ancient parish churches were dedicated:

The parishes of Jersey are further divided into vingtaines (or, in St. Ouen, cueillettes), divisions that are historic. Today they are used chiefly for purposes of local administration and electoral constituency.

The Connétable is the head of each parish, elected at a public election for a four-year term to run the parish and to represent the municipality in the States Assembly. The Procureur du Bien Public (two in each parish) is the legal and financial representative of the parish (elected at a public election since 2003 in accordance with the Public Elections (Amendment) (Jersey) Law 2003; formerly an Assembly of Electors of each parish elected the Procureurs in accordance with the Loi (1804) au sujet des assemblées paroissiales). A Procureur du Bien Public is elected for three years as a public trustee for the funds and property of the parish and may contract when authorised by a Parish Assembly. The Parish Assembly is the decision-making body of local government in each parish; it consists of all entitled voters of the parish.

Each parish elects its own force of Honorary Police consisting of Centeniers, Vingteniers and Constable's Officers. Centeniers are elected at a public election within each parish for a term of three years to undertake policing within the parish. The Centenier is the only officer authorised to charge and bail offenders. Formerly, the senior Centenier of each parish (entitled the Chef de Police) deputised for the Connétable in the States of Jersey when the Connétable was unable to attend a sitting of the States. This function has now been abolished.

International relations

Jersey Airport signage in Jèrriais
Jersey Airport greets travellers with "Welcome to Jersey" sign in Jèrriais.

Although diplomatic representation is reserved to the Crown, Jersey has been developing its own international identity over recent years. It negotiates directly with foreign governments on matters within the competence of the Government of Jersey. Jersey maintains the Bureau des Iles Anglo-Normandes in Caen, France, a permanent non-diplomatic representation. A similar office, the Maison de Normandie in St. Helier, represents the Conseil général of Manche and the Regional Council of Normandy. It also houses the Consulate of France. In July 2009, a Channel Islands Tunnel was proposed to connect Jersey with Lower Normandy.[54]

Jersey is a member of the British-Irish Council, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie. Jersey wants to become a full member of the Commonwealth in its own right.[55]

International identity

In 2007, the Chief Minister and the UK Lord Chancellor signed an agreement[15] that established a framework for the development of the international identity of Jersey.

In January 2011, the Chief Minister designated one of his assistant ministers as having responsibility for external relations; he is now often described as the island's 'foreign minister'.[56][57]

Tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) have been signed directly by the island with several countries.[58]

Relationship with the European Union

Jersey is neither a Member State of the European Union, nor does it have a European Union Association Agreement. It does, however, have a relationship with the EU governed by article 335(5)(c) TFEU giving effect to Protocol 3 to the UK's Treaty of Accession in 1972.[59] However, Jersey does not appear on the list of European States and Territories outside the Union and the Communities prepared by the European Council and the Commission. This is a result of the manner of implementation of the Treaty arrangements under the Act of Accession in 1972. Jersey would have been fully within the European Communities like Gibraltar, being a European territory for whose external relations the United Kingdom was responsible, but that is limited to the Protocol 3 arrangements under article 355 TFEU to reflect the then existing relationship with the United Kingdom.

Under Protocol 3, Jersey is part of the European Union Customs Union of the European Community. The common customs tariff, levies and other agricultural import measures apply to trade between the island and non-Member States. There is free movement of goods and trade between the island and Member States. EU rules on freedom of movement for workers do not apply in Jersey.[60] However, Article 4 of the Protocol requires the island's authorities to give the same treatment to all natural and legal persons of the Communities. In Pereira, the ECJ held that the scope of this article included any matter governed by the Treaties in a territory where the Treaties are fully applicable. The island is therefore within the scope of the Treaties to a limited extent, as a European Territory. To infer, as the French Ambassador and finance minister have attempted to argue, namely that the island is outside the European Union and Communities without qualification is therefore simplistic, in law false. The German blacklisting of the island had to be hastily revoked when this was pointed out. As a result, Jersey is not part of the single market in financial services. It is not required to implement EU Directives on such matters as movement of capital, company law or money laundering. However, the island's close proximity (135 km south) and its close association with the financial sector of the U.K. has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, with several mainline publications (e.g., The Wall Street Journal) labelling the island a tax haven.[61]

British citizens who have only a connection to Jersey, and not with the United Kingdom or another member state of the European Union, are not considered by the Jersey States to be European Union citizens.[62] They have 'Islander status' and their Jersey-issued British passports are endorsed with the words the holder is not entitled to benefit from EU provisions relating to employment or establishment.[63]

However, it is not yet clear whether the citizenship rights in articles 18 and 21 TFEU are partly available to them as British Citizens, given the limited restriction of their rights under article 2 of the Protocol. That restriction on the exercise of certain freedoms does not apply to all Community or Union rights. The freedom of movement under the prior EC régime was and remains a separate set of rights from the Citizen rights under article 20 and 21 TFEU which include the right to move and reside. Those rights are primary citizenship rights, not a mere freedom. It might not need a Treaty change to perfect this, merely a preliminary ruling from the CJEU, and supplementary implementation measures from the Council, given the effective right of entrance and residence granted to EU nationals via Article 4 of the Protocol. Jersey residents presently do not have a right to vote in elections for the European Parliament. Jersey and Guernsey jointly opened an office in Brussels in 2010 to promote their common interests with European Union institutions.[64]

The effect of the UK leaving the European Union is uncertain. The UK have confirmed that the Crown dependencies position will be argued in the Brexit negotiations.

Separation debate

The question of an independent Jersey has been discussed from time to time in the States Assembly. In 2005–08, a working group of the States Assrmbly examined the options for independence, concluding that Jersey 'is equipped to face the challenges of independence' but making no recommendations.[65] Proposals for Jersey independence continue to be discussed outside the States.[66][67]

In October 2012, the Council of Ministers issued a "Common policy for external relations"[13] which noted "that it is not Government policy to seek independence from the United Kingdom, but rather to ensure that Jersey is prepared if it were in the best interests of islanders to do so". On the basis of the established principles the Council of Ministers decided to "ensure that Jersey is prepared for external change that may affect the island's formal relationship with the United Kingdom and/or European Union".

Geography

Jersey.arp.750pix
Satellite view of Jersey
Jersey-islands
Map of islands of Bailiwick of Jersey

Jersey is an island measuring 118.2 square kilometres (45.6 sq mi) (or 66,436 vergées),[4] including reclaimed land and intertidal zone. It lies in the English Channel, about 12 nautical miles (22 km; 14 mi) from the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy, France, and about 87 nautical miles (161 km; 100 mi) south of Great Britain.[68] It is the largest and southernmost of the Channel Islands, with a maximum land elevation of 143 m (469 ft) above sea level.

The central two parishes (St.John and St.Lawrence) occupy the centre of the island and offer many direct routes from north to south through a number of valleys including water works valley.

Climate

The climate is temperate with mild winters and mild to warm summers.[69]

The Atlantic Ocean has a moderating effect on temperature in Jersey, as water has a much greater specific heat capacity than air and tends to heat and cool slowly throughout the year. This has a warming influence on coastal areas in winter and a cooling influence in summer. The highest temperature recorded was 36.0 °C (96.8 °F) on 9 August 2003, and the lowest temperature recorded was −10.3 °C (13.5 °F) on 5 January 1894. By comparison, higher temperatures are found in mainland United Kingdom, which achieved 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) in Faversham, Kent on 10 August 2003. The impact of the Atlantic Ocean and coastal winds ensure that Jersey is slightly cooler than the southern and central parts of England during the summer months. Snow falls rarely in Jersey; some years will pass with no snow fall at all.

The terrain consists of a plateau sloping from long sandy bays in the south to rugged cliffs in the north. The plateau is cut by valleys running generally north-south.

The following table contains the official Met Office station averages for 1981–2010 for Jersey, being located 7.2 kilometres (4.5 mi) from St. Helier.

Climate data for Jersey station, elevation 84 m, 1981–2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.0
(57.2)
18.0
(64.4)
20.3
(68.5)
25.0
(77.0)
28.0
(82.4)
33.0
(91.4)
33.9
(93.0)
36.0
(96.8)
30.2
(86.4)
26.0
(78.8)
21.0
(69.8)
16.0
(60.8)
36.0
(96.8)
Average high °C (°F) 8.3
(46.9)
8.4
(47.1)
10.4
(50.7)
12.5
(54.5)
15.8
(60.4)
18.4
(65.1)
20.4
(68.7)
20.6
(69.1)
18.7
(65.7)
15.4
(59.7)
11.7
(53.1)
9.2
(48.6)
14.2
(57.6)
Average low °C (°F) 4.3
(39.7)
3.8
(38.8)
5.3
(41.5)
6.5
(43.7)
9.3
(48.7)
11.8
(53.2)
13.9
(57.0)
14.3
(57.7)
12.9
(55.2)
10.6
(51.1)
7.5
(45.5)
5.0
(41.0)
8.8
(47.8)
Record low °C (°F) −10.3
(13.5)
−9.0
(15.8)
−3.3
(26.1)
−1.6
(29.1)
0.0
(32.0)
5.9
(42.6)
9.0
(48.2)
7.7
(45.9)
6.0
(42.8)
−2.6
(27.3)
−3.0
(26.6)
−4.0
(24.8)
−10.3
(13.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 93.1
(3.67)
68.9
(2.71)
66.1
(2.60)
56.4
(2.22)
55.6
(2.19)
47.5
(1.87)
44.6
(1.76)
49.5
(1.95)
63.9
(2.52)
103.4
(4.07)
105.4
(4.15)
113.9
(4.48)
865.8
(34.09)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 66.6 91.6 134.0 196.5 236.7 245.4 252.7 235.3 184.6 118.8 79.9 63.2 1,904.8
Source #1: Met Office[70]
Source #2: Voodoo Skies[71]

Economy

Jersey's economy is based on financial services (40% of GVA in 2012), tourism and hospitality (hotels, restaurants, bars, transport and communications totalling 8.4% of GVA in 2012), retail and wholesale (7% of GVA in 2012), construction (6.2% of GVA in 2012) and agriculture (1.3% of GVA in 2012).[4]

Thanks to specialisation in a few high-return sectors, at purchasing power parity Jersey has high economic output per capita, substantially ahead of all of the world's large developed economies. Gross national income in 2009 was £3.7 billion (approximately £40,000 per head of population).[4] However, this is not indicative of each individual resident's purchasing power, and the actual standard of living in Jersey is comparable to that in the United Kingdom outside central London. The island is recognised as one of the leading offshore financial centres. The growth of this sector however has not been without its controversies as Jersey has been characterised by critics and detractors as a place in which the "leadership has essentially been captured by global finance, and whose members will threaten and intimidate anyone who dissents."[41] In June 2005 the States introduced the Competition (Jersey) Law 2005[72] to regulate competition and stimulate economic growth. This competition law was based on that of other jurisdictions.

Tourism supports not only hotels, but also retail and services: in 2015 there were 717,600 visitors spending £243 million.[73] Duty-free goods are available for purchase on travel to and from the island.

Aerial view of fields in St Clement, Jersey
Aerial view of fields in Saint Clement, Jersey

In 2009 57% of the Island's area was agricultural land (an increase on 2008). Major agricultural products are potatoes and dairy produce; agriculture's share of GVA increased 5% in 2009, a fifth successive year of growth.[4] Jersey cattle are a small breed of cow widely known for its rich milk and cream; the quality of its meat is also appreciated on a small scale.[74][75] The herd total in 2009 was 5,090 animals.[4] Fisheries and aquaculture make use of Jersey's marine resources to a total value of over £6 million in 2009.[4]

Farmers and growers often sell surplus food and flowers in boxes on the roadside, relying on the honesty of customers to drop the correct change into the money box and take what they want. In the 21st century, diversification of agriculture and amendments in planning strategy have led to farm shops replacing many of the roadside stalls.

53,460 people were employed in Jersey as of December 2010: 24% in financial and legal services; 16% in wholesale and retail trades; 16% in the public sector; 10% in education, health and other private sector services; 10% in construction and quarrying; 9% in hotels, restaurants and bars.[4]

Jersey along with Guernsey has its own lottery called the Channel Islands Lottery that was launched in 1975.

On 18 February 2005, Jersey was granted Fairtrade Island status.[76]

Taxation

Until the 20th century, the States relied on indirect taxation to finance the administration of Jersey. The levying of impôts (duties) different from those of the United Kingdom was granted by Charles II and remained in the hands of the Assembly of Governor, Bailiff and Jurats until 1921 when that body's tax raising powers were transferred to the Assembly of the States, leaving the Assembly of Governor, Bailiff and Jurats to serve simply as licensing bench for the sale of alcohol (this fiscal reform also stripped the Lieutenant-Governor of most of his effective remaining administrative functions). The Income Tax Law of 1928 introducing income tax was the first law drafted entirely in English. Income tax has been levied at a flat rate of 20% set by the occupying Germans during the Second World War.

Because value added tax (VAT) has not been levied in the island, luxury goods have often been cheaper than in the UK or in France, providing an incentive for tourism from neighbouring countries. The absence of VAT has also led to the growth of the fulfilment industry, whereby low-value luxury items, such as videos, lingerie and contact lenses are exported, avoiding VAT on arrival and thus undercutting local prices on the same products. In 2005, the Government of Jersey announced limits on licences granted to non-resident companies trading in this way. Low-value consignment relief provided the mechanism for VAT-free imports from the Channel Islands to the UK until 1 April 2012, at which time this policy of the UK government was binned.

Although Jersey does not have VAT, the Government of Jersey introduced a goods and services tax (GST) on 6 May 2008, at a standard rate of 3%. The rate was amended to 5% on 1 June 2011. Although GST is at 5%, shopping in Jersey is still far more expensive than in the UK. Food is not exempt, unlike with VAT.

Jersey is not subject to European Union fiscal legislation, and its "Zero/Ten" corporate tax legislation will be compliant with the Code of Conduct in business taxation as from the removal of the deemed distribution and attribution anti-avoidance legislation as of 31 December 2011, which was apparently criticised by certain unnamed members of the Code of Conduct Group, a subsidiary body of ECOFIN. The Code of Conduct Group,[77] at least in theory, keeps most of its documentation and discussion confidential. The European Commission has confirmed that the Code is not a legal instrument, and therefore is not legally binding, only becoming of limited "political" authority once a unanimous report has been adopted by the Group at the end of the Presidency concerned.

Jersey is ranked as a tax haven by many organisations with the Financial Secrecy Index ranking Jersey as 16th, one rank behind the United Kingdom as of 2015.

Currency

Dual currency cash machines in Jersey
Twin cash machines at a bank that dispensed a choice of Bank of England or Jersey banknotes. Since the intervention of the Treasurer of the States in 2005, cash machines generally (with the exception of those at the airport and Elizabeth Harbour) no longer dispense British notes.
Commemorative stamps for Mesny's 150th anniversary 1992
Jersey stamps commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of General William Mesny

Jersey issues its own postage stamps and Jersey banknotes and coins that circulate with UK coinage, Bank of England notes, Scottish notes and Guernsey currency within the island. Jersey currency is not legal tender outside Jersey: However, in the United Kingdom it is acceptable tender[78] and can be surrendered at banks within that country in exchange for Bank of England-issued currency on a like-for-like basis.

Coinage

Designs on the reverse of Jersey coins:

The main currency of Jersey is the pound, although in many places the euro is accepted because of the location of the island. Pound coins are issued, but are much less widely used than pound notes. Designs on the reverse of Jersey pound coins include historic ships built in Jersey and a series of the twelve parishes' crests. The motto around the milled edge of Jersey pound coins is Insula Caesarea (Island of Jersey). Two pound coins are also issued, but in very small quantities.

In July 2014, the Jersey Financial Services Commission approved the establishment of the world's first regulated Bitcoin fund, at a time when the digital currency was being accepted by some local businesses.[79]

Demographics

Mont Orgueil and Gorey harbour, Jersey
Mont Orgueil was built in the 13th century after its split from Normandy.

Censuses have been undertaken in Jersey since 1821. In the 2011 census, the total resident population was estimated to be 97,857, of whom 34% live in Saint Helier, the island's only town.[80] Approximately half the island's population was born in Jersey; 31% of the population were born elsewhere in the British Isles, 7% in continental Portugal or Madeira, 8% in other European countries and 4% elsewhere.[81]

The people of Jersey are often called Islanders or, in individual terms, Jerseyman or Jerseywoman. Some Jersey-born people identify as British.

Historical population
YearPop.±%
187156,627—    
195155,244−2.4%
196159,489+7.7%
197169,329+16.5%
198176,050+9.7%
199184,082+10.6%
200187,186+3.7%
201197,857+12.2%
2014100,080+2.3%

Immigration

Jersey belongs to the Common Travel Area[82] and the definition of "United Kingdom" in the British Nationality Act 1981 is interpreted as including the UK and the Islands together.[17]

For immigration and nationality purposes, the United Kingdom generally treats Jersey as though it were part of the UK. Jersey is constitutionally entitled to restrict immigration[83] by non-Jersey residents, but control of immigration at the point of entry cannot be introduced for British, certain Commonwealth and EEA nationals without change to existing international law.[84] Immigration is therefore controlled by a mixture of restrictions on those without residential status purchasing or renting property in the island and restrictions on employment. Migration policy is to move to a registration system to integrate residential and employment status.[84] Jersey maintains its own immigration[85] and border controls. United Kingdom immigration legislation may be extended to Jersey by order in council (subject to exceptions and adaptations) following consultation with Jersey and with Jersey's consent.[86] Although Jersey citizens are full British citizens, an endorsement restricting the right of establishment in European Union states other than the UK is placed in the passports of British citizens connected solely with the Channel Islands and Isle of Man.[87] Those who have a parent or grandparent born in the United Kingdom, or who have lived in the United Kingdom for five years, are not subject to this restriction.

Historical large-scale immigration was facilitated by the introduction of steamships (from 1823). By 1840, up to 5,000 English people, mostly half-pay officers and their families, had settled in Jersey.[23] In the aftermath of 1848, Polish, Russian, Hungarian, Italian and French political refugees came to Jersey. Following Louis Napoléon's coup of 1851, more French proscrits arrived. By the end of the 19th century, well-to-do British families, attracted by the lack of income tax, were settling in Jersey in increasing numbers, establishing St Helier as a predominantly English-speaking town.

Seasonal work in agriculture had depended mostly on Bretons and mainland Normans from the 19th century. The growth of tourism attracted staff from the United Kingdom. Following liberation in 1945, agricultural workers were mostly recruited from the United Kingdom – the demands of reconstruction in mainland Normandy and Brittany employed domestic labour.

Until the 1960s, the population had been relatively stable for decades at around 60,000 (excluding the Occupation years). Economic growth spurred immigration and a rise in population, which is, by 2013, about 100,000. From the 1960s Portuguese workers arrived, mostly working initially in seasonal industries in agriculture and tourism.

Immigration has helped give aspects of Jersey a distinct urban character, particularly in and around the parish of St Helier, which contributes much to ongoing debates between development and sustainability throughout the island.[88]

Language

Languages spoken as of 2001[89]
Language Main language Secondary language Total speakers
English 82,349 3,443 85,792
Portuguese 4,002 3,300 7,305
French 338 14,776 15,114
Jersey French 113 2,761 2,874
Other 384 4,496 4,880

Religion in Jersey

Religion in Jersey has a complex history, drawn largely from different Christian denominations. In 2015, Jersey's first ever national survey of religion found that two fifths of Jersey people have no religion, with only small handfuls of Jersey people belonging to the non-Christian religions. In total, 54% said they had some form of religion, and 7% were not sure. Of those that specified a denomination of Christianity, equal proportions were 'Catholic' or 'Roman Catholic' (43%) as were 'Anglican' or 'Church of England' (44%). The remaining eighth (13%) gave another Christian denomination.[90]

The established church is the Church of England, from 2015 under the See of Canterbury (previously under the Winchester diocese). In the countryside, Methodism found its traditional stronghold. A substantial minority of Roman Catholics can also be found in Jersey. There are two Catholic private combined primary and secondary schools: De La Salle College in Saint Saviour is an all-boys school, and Beaulieu Convent School in Saint Saviour is an all-girls school; and FCJ primary school in St. Saviour. A Catholic order of Sisters has a presence in school life.

Culture

La Nethe Rue road sign Jersey
Jèrriais road sign ("The black road") in Saint Ouen.

Until the 19th century, indigenous Jèrriais – a variety of Norman – was the language of the island, though French was used for official business. During the 20th century, British cultural influence saw an intense language shift take place and Jersey today is predominantly English-speaking.[20] Jèrriais nonetheless survives; around 2,600 islanders (three percent) are reckoned to be habitual speakers, and some 10,000 (12 percent) in all claim some knowledge of the language, particularly amongst the elderly in rural parishes. There have been efforts to revive Jèrriais in schools, and the highest number of declared Jèrriais speakers is in the capital.

Lillie langtry
Actress Lillie Langtry, nicknamed the Jersey Lily.

The dialects of Jèrriais differ in phonology and, to a lesser extent, lexis between parishes, with the most marked differences to be heard between those of the west and east. Many place names are in Jèrriais, and French and English place names are also to be found. Anglicisation of the place names increased apace with the migration of English people to the island.

Some Neolithic carvings are the earliest works of artistic character to be found in Jersey. Only fragmentary wall-paintings remain from the rich mediaeval artistic heritage, after the wholesale iconoclasm of the Calvinist Reformation of the 16th century.

The island is particularly famous for the Battle of Flowers, a carnival held annually since 1902.[91] Other festivals include La Fête dé Noué[92] (Christmas festival), La Faîs'sie d'Cidre (cidermaking festival),[93] the Battle of Britain air display, Jersey Live Music Festival, Branchage Film Festival, food festivals, and parish events.

The island's patron saint is Saint Helier.[94]

Media

Broadcast

Haûlîngu'thie d'la couleu d'Jèrri l'7 d'Avri 2011 11
A Channel Television crew interview the Bailiff of Jersey

BBC Radio Jersey provides a radio service, and BBC Channel Islands News with headquarters in Jersey provides a joint television news service with Guernsey. ITV Channel Television is a regional ITV franchise shared with the Bailiwick of Guernsey but with its headquarters in Jersey.

Channel 103 is a commercial radio station. Bailiwick Radio broadcasts two music services, Classics and Hits, online at bailiwickradio.com, Apple & Android apps and on TuneIn. Radio Youth FM is an internet radio station run by young people.

Bailiwick Express is one of Jersey's digital online news sources.

Daily newspaper

Jersey has only one newspaper, the Jersey Evening Post, which is printed six days a week, and has been in publication since 1890.

Music

Jersey Town Criterium 2011 07
The Band of the Island of Jersey play at many events[95]

The traditional folk music of Jersey was common in country areas until the mid-20th century. It cannot be separated from the musical traditions of continental Europe, and the majority of songs and tunes that have been documented have close parallels or variants, particularly in France. Most of the surviving traditional songs are in French, with a minority in Jèrriais.

In contemporary music, Nerina Pallot has enjoyed international success along with rock group The Gaa Gaas. Music festivals include Jersey Live, Weekender, Rock in the Park, Avanchi presents Jazz in July, the music section of the Jersey Eisteddfod and the Liberation Jersey Music Festival.[96]

Cinema

In 1909, T. J. West established the first cinema in the Royal Hall in St. Helier, which became known as West's Cinema in 1923 (demolished 1977). The first talking picture, The Perfect Alibi, was shown on 30 December 1929 at the Picture House in St. Helier. The Jersey Film Society was founded on 11 December 1947 at the Café Bleu, West's Cinema. The large Art Deco Forum Cinema was opened in 1935 – during the German occupation this was used for German propaganda films.

The Odeon Cinema was opened 2 June 1952 and, was later rebranded in the early 21st century as the Forum cinema. Its owners, however, struggled to meet tough competition from the Cineworld Cinemas group, which opened a 10 screen multiplex on the waterfront centre in St. Helier on reclaimed land in December 2002 and the Odeon closed its doors in late 2008. The Odeon is now a listed building.[97][98]

Since 1997, Kevin Lewis (formerly of the Cine Centre and the New Forum) has arranged the Jersey Film Festival, a charity event showing the latest and also classic films outdoors in 35 mm on a big screen. The 2011 festival was held in Howard Davis Park, St Saviour, on the 13–19 August 2011.[99]

First held in 2008, the Branchage Jersey International Film Festival[100] attracts filmmakers from all over the world.

Food and drink

Jersey wonders
Jersey wonders, or mèrvelles, are a favourite snack consisting of fried dough, found especially at country fêtes. According to tradition, the success of cooking depends on the state of the tide.

Seafood has traditionally been important to the cuisine of Jersey: mussels (called moules in the island), oysters, lobster and crabs – especially spider crabsormers and conger.

Jersey milk being very rich, cream and butter have played a large part in insular cooking. (See Channel Island milk) However, there is no indigenous tradition of cheese making, contrary to the custom of mainland Normandy, but some cheese is produced commercially. Jersey fudge, mostly imported and made with milk from overseas Jersey cattle herds, is a popular food product with tourists.

Jersey Royal potatoes are the local variety of new potato, and the island is famous for its early crop of Chats (small potatoes) from the south-facing côtils (steeply sloping fields). They were originally grown using vraic as a natural fertiliser giving them their own individual taste, only a small portion of those grown in the island still use this method. They are eaten in a variety of ways, often simply boiled and served with butter or when not as fresh fried in butter.

Apples historically were an important crop. Bourdélots are apple dumplings, but the most typical speciality is black butter (lé nièr beurre), a dark spicy spread prepared from apples, cider and spices. Cider used to be an important export. After decline and near-disappearance in the late 20th century, apple production is being increased and promoted. Besides cider, apple brandy is produced. Other production of alcohol drinks includes wine,[101] and in 2013 the first commercial vodkas made from Jersey Royal potatoes were marketed.[102]

Among other traditional dishes are cabbage loaf, Jersey wonders (les mèrvelles), fliottes, bean crock (les pais au fou), nettle (ortchie) soup, vraic buns.

Sport

Harry Vardon statue Grouville 3
A statue of Jersey golfer, Harry Vardon, stands at the entrance to the Royal Jersey Golf Club

In its own right Jersey participates in the Commonwealth Games and in the biennial Island Games, which it first hosted in 1997 and more recently in 2015.[103]

In sporting events in which Jersey does not have international representation, when the British Home Nations are competing separately, islanders that do have high athletic skill may choose to compete for any of the Home Nations – there are, however, restrictions on subsequent transfers to represent another Home Nation.

Jersey is an associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC). The Jersey cricket team plays in the Inter-insular match among others. The Jersey cricket team competed in the World Division 4, held in Tanzania in October 2008, after recently finishing as runners-up and therefore being promoted from the World Division 5 held in Jersey. They also competed in the European Division 2, held in Guernsey during August 2008. The youth cricket teams have been promoted to play in the European Division 1 alongside Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Guernsey. In two tournaments at this level Jersey have finished 6th.

For horseracing, Les Landes Racecourse can be found at Les Landes in St. Ouen next to the ruins of Grosnez Castle.

The Jersey Football Association supervises football in Jersey. The Jersey Football Combination has nine teams in its top division. Jersey national football team plays in the annual Muratti competition among others.

Rugby union in Jersey comes under the auspices of the Jersey Rugby Association (JRA), which is a member of the Rugby Football Union of England. Jersey Reds compete in the English rugby union system;[104] after four promotions in five seasons, the last three of which were consecutive, they competed in the second-level RFU Championship in 2012–13.[105]

Jersey has two public indoor swimming pools. Swimming in the sea, windsurfing and other marine sports are practised. Jersey Swimming Club have organised an annual swim from Elizabeth Castle to Saint Helier Harbour for over 50 years. A round-island swim is a major challenge that a select number of swimmers have achieved. The Royal Channel Island Yacht Club is based in Jersey.

There is one facility for extreme sports and some facilities for youth sports. Jersey has one un-roofed skateboarding park. Coastal cliffs provide opportunities for rock climbing.

Two professional golfers from Jersey have won the Open Championship seven times between them; Harry Vardon won six times and Ted Ray won once. Vardon and Ray also won the U.S. Open once each. Harry Vardon's brother, Tom Vardon, had wins on various European tours.

Literature

Victor Hugo-Exile
Victor Hugo in exile, 1850s.

Wace, a Norman poet of the 12th century, is Jersey's earliest known author. Printing arrived in Jersey only in the 1780s, but the island supported a multitude of regular publications in French (and Jèrriais) and English throughout the 19th century, in which poetry, most usually topical and satirical, flourished (see Jèrriais literature).The first Jèrriais book to be published was Rimes et Poésies Jersiaises de divers auteurs réunies et mises en ordre, edited by Abraham Mourant in 1865. Writers born in Jersey include Elinor Glyn, John Lemprière, Philippe Le Sueur Mourant, Robert Pipon Marett and Augustus Asplet Le Gros. Frederick Tennyson and Gerald Durrell were among authors who made Jersey their home. Contemporary authors based in Jersey include Jack Higgins.

Education

Schools

The Government of Jersey provides education through state schools (including a fee-paying option at secondary level) and also supports private schools. The Jersey curriculum follows that of England.[21] It follows the National Curriculum although there are a few differences to adapt for the island,[106] for example all Year 4 students study a six-week Jersey Studies course.[107]

Further and higher education

Jersey has a college of further education and university centre, Highlands College. As well as offering part-time and evening courses, Highlands is also a sixth form provider, working alongside Hautlieu School which offers the only non-fee-paying sixth form, and works collaboratively with a range of organisations including the Open University, University of Plymouth and London South Bank University. In particular students can study at Highlands for the two-year foundation degree in financial services and for a BSc in social sciences, both validated by the University of Plymouth.

The Institute of Law is Jersey's law school, providing a course for students seeking to qualify as Jersey advocates and solicitors. It also provides teaching for students enrolled on the University of London LLB degree programme, via the International Programmes. The Institute of Law also runs a 'double degree' course: students can obtain the LLB from the University of London and a Licence en droit M1 from Toulouse 1 Capitol University; the two combine 4 years of studies in both English and French. The Open University supports students in Jersey, but they pay higher fees than UK students. Private sector higher education providers include the Jersey International Business School.

Environment

Designations
Official nameSouth East Coast of Jersey, Channel Islands
Designated10 November 2000
Reference no.1043[108]

Three areas of land are protected for their ecological or geological interest as Sites of Special Interest (SSI). Jersey has four designated Ramsar sites: Les Pierres de Lecq, Les Minquiers, Les Écréhous and Les Dirouilles and the south east coast of Jersey (a large area of intertidal zone).[109]

Jersey is the home of the Jersey Zoo (formerly known as the Durrell Wildlife Park[110]) founded by the naturalist, zookeeper and author Gerald Durrell.

Biodiversity

Four species of small mammal are considered native:[111] the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus), the Jersey bank vole (Myodes glareolus caesarius), the Lesser white-toothed shrew (Crocidura suaveolens) and the French shrew (Sorex coronatus). Three wild mammals are well-established introductions: the rabbit (introduced in the mediaeval period), the red squirrel and the hedgehog (both introduced in the 19th century). The stoat (Mustela erminea) became extinct in Jersey between 1976 and 2000. The Green lizard (Lacerta bilineata) is a protected species of reptile; Jersey is its only habitat in the British Isles.[112]

The red-billed chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax became extinct in Jersey around 1900, when changes in farming and grazing practices led to a decline in the coastal slope habitat required by this species. Birds on the Edge, a project between the Government of Jersey, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Jersey National Trust, is working to restore Jersey's coastal habitats and reinstate the red-billed chough (and other bird species) to the island[113]

Jersey is the only place in the British Isles where the agile frog Rana dalmatina is found.[114] The remaining population of agile frogs on Jersey is very small and is restricted to the south west of the island. The species is the subject of an ongoing programme to save it from extinction in Jersey via a collaboration between the Government of Jersey, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Jersey Amphibian and Reptile Group (JARG), with support and sponsorship from several other organisations. The programme includes captive breeding and release, public awareness and habitat restoration activities.[115]

Trees generally considered native are the alder (Alnus glutinosa), silver birch (Betula pendula), sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa), hazel (Corylus avellana), hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), beech (Fagus sylvatica), ash (Fraxinus excelsior), aspen (Populus tremula), wild cherry (Prunus avium), blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), holm oak (Quercus ilex), oak (Quercus robur), sallow (Salix cinerea), elder (Sambucus nigra), elm (Ulmus spp.) and medlar (Mespilus germanica). Among notable introduced species, the cabbage palm (Cordyline australis) has been planted in coastal areas and may be seen in many gardens.[116]

Notable marine species[117] include the ormer, conger, bass, undulate ray, grey mullet, ballan wrasse and garfish. Marine mammals include the bottlenosed dolphin[118] and grey seal.[119]

Historically the island has given its name to a variety of overly-large cabbage, the Jersey cabbage, also known as Jersey kale or cow cabbage.[120]

Japanese Knotweed Fallopia japonica is an invasive species that threatens Jersey's biodiversity.[121] It is easily recognisable and has hollow stems with small white flowers that are produced in late summer.[122] Other non-native species on the island include the Colorado beetle, burnet rose and oak processionary moth.[121]

Emergency services

Emergency services[123] are provided by the States of Jersey Police with the support of the Honorary Police as necessary, States of Jersey Ambulance Service,[124] Jersey Fire and Rescue Service[125] and the Jersey Coastguard.[126] The Jersey Fire and Rescue Service and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution operate an inshore rescue and lifeboat service; Channel Islands Air Search provides rapid response airborne search of the surrounding waters.[127]

The States of Jersey Fire Service was formed in 1938 when the States took over the Saint Helier Fire Brigade, which had been formed in 1901. The first lifeboat was equipped, funded by the States, in 1830. The RNLI established a lifeboat station in 1884.[128] Border security and customs controls are undertaken by the States of Jersey Customs and Immigration Service. Jersey has adopted the 112 emergency number alongside its existing 999 emergency number.

See also

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Further reading

  • Balleine's History of Jersey, Marguerite Syvret and Joan Stevens (1998) ISBN 1-86077-065-7
  • Jersey Through the Centuries, Leslie Sinel, Jersey 1984, ISBN 0-86120-003-9
  • A Biographical Dictionary of Jersey, G.R. Balleine

Archaeology

  • The Archaeology of the Channel Islands. Vol. 2: The Bailiwick of Jersey by Jacquetta Hawkes (1939)
  • The Prehistoric Foundations of Europe to the Mycenean Age, 1940, C. F. C. Hawkes
  • Jersey in Prehistory, Mark Patton, 1987
  • The Archaeology and Early History of the Channel Islands, Heather Sebire, 2005.
  • Dolmens of Jersey: A Guide, James Hibbs (1988).
  • A Guide to The Dolmens of Jersey, Peter Hunt, Société Jersiaise, 1998.
  • Statements in Stone: Monuments and Society in Neolithic Brittany, Mark Patton, 1993
  • Hougue Bie, Mark Patton, Warwick Rodwell, Olga Finch, 1999
  • The Channel Islands, An Archaeological Guide, David Johnston, 1981
  • The Archaeology of the Channel Islands, Peter Johnston, 1986

Cattle

  • One Hundred Years of the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society 1833–1933. Compiled from the Society's Records, by H.G. Shepard, Secretary. Eric J. Boston. Jersey Cattle, 1954

Religion

  • The Channel Islands under Tudor Government, A.J. Eagleston
  • Reformation and Society in Guernsey, D.M. Ogier
  • International Politics and the Establishment of Presbyterianism in the Channel Islands: The Coutances Connection, C.S.L. Davies
  • Religion, History and G.R. Balleine: The Reformation in Jersey, by J. St John Nicolle, The Pilot Magazine
  • The Reformation in Jersey: The Process of Change over Two centuries, J. St John Nicolle
  • The Chroniques de Jersey in the light of contemporary documents, BSJ, AJ Eagleston
  • The Portrait of Richard Mabon, BSJ, Joan Stevens

External links

Coordinates: 49°11′24″N 2°6′36″W / 49.19000°N 2.11000°W

Akon

Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam (born April 16, 1973), () is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and actor. He rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of "Locked Up", the first single from his debut album, Trouble.

He has since founded two successful record labels, Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution. The labels served as a stepping stone for many soon-to-be successful acts, most notably Lady Gaga, T-Pain, R. City, Kardinall Offishall and Red Café, among others. His second album, Konvicted received three nominations for the Grammy Awards in two categories, Best Contemporary R&B Album for Konvicted album and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Smack That" and "I Wanna Love You".

He is the first solo artist to hold both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice. Akon has had four songs certified as 3× platinum, three songs certified as 2× platinum, more than ten songs certified as 1× platinum and more than ten songs certified as gold in digital sales. Akon has sung songs in other languages including Tamil, Hindi, and Spanish. He was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the #1 selling artist for master ringtones in the world.

Akon often provides vocals as a featured artist and is currently credited with over 300 guest appearances and more than 35 Billboard Hot 100 songs. He has had five Grammy Awards nominations and has produced records for artists such as Lady Gaga, Colby O'Donis, Kardinal Offishall, Leona Lewis, and Michael Jackson.

Forbes ranked Akon 80th (Power Rank) in Forbes Celebrity 100 in 2010 and 5th in 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa list, in 2011. Billboard ranked Akon No. 6 on the list of Top Digital Songs Artists of the decade.

Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets are an American professional basketball team based in the borough of Brooklyn, in New York City. The Nets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. The team plays its home games at Barclays Center. They are one of two NBA teams located in New York City; the other is the New York Knicks. The team was established in 1967 as a charter franchise of the NBA's rival league, the American Basketball Association (ABA). They played in New Jersey as the New Jersey Americans during their first season, before moving to Long Island in 1968 and changing their name to the New York Nets. During this time, the Nets won two ABA championships (in 1974 and 1976). In 1976, the ABA merged with the NBA, and the Nets were absorbed into the NBA along with three other ABA teams (the San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets, all of whom remain in the league today).

In 1977, the team returned to New Jersey and played as the New Jersey Nets from 1977 to 2012. During this time, the Nets won two consecutive Eastern Conference championships (in the 2001–02 and 2002–03 seasons), but failed to win a league title. In the summer of 2012, the team moved to Barclays Center, and took its current geographic name.

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter and leader of the E Street Band. Nicknamed "The Boss," he is recognized for his poetic lyrics, his Jersey Shore roots, his distinctive voice, and lengthy, energetic stage performances.

Springsteen has recorded both rock albums and more somber folk-oriented works. His most successful studio albums, Born to Run (1975) and Born in the U.S.A. (1984) find pleasures in the struggles of daily American life. He has sold more than 135 million records worldwide and more than 64 million records in the United States, making him one of the world's best-selling artists. He has earned numerous awards for his work, including 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, an Academy Award, a Tony Award (for Springsteen on Broadway) and was inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1999. In 2009, Springsteen was a Kennedy Center Honors recipient, in 2013 was named MusiCares person of the year, and in 2016 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.Springsteen married Patti Scialfa in 1991. Their three children are Evan James Springsteen, Jessica Rae Springsteen, and Sam Ryan Springsteen.

Cory Booker

Cory Anthony Booker (born April 27, 1969) is an American politician serving as the junior United States Senator from New Jersey since 2013 and a member of the Democratic Party. The first African-American U.S. Senator from New Jersey, he was previously the 36th Mayor of Newark from 2006 to 2013. Before that, Booker served on the Municipal Council of Newark for the Central Ward from 1998 to 2002. On February 1, 2019, he announced his campaign to run for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2020 United States presidential election.

Booker was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Harrington Park, New Jersey. He attended Stanford University, where he received an undergraduate and master's degree in 1991 and 1992, respectively. He studied abroad at the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship before attending Yale Law School. He won an upset victory for a seat on the Municipal Council of Newark in 1998, where he staged a 10-day hunger strike and briefly lived in a tent to draw attention to urban development issues in the city. He ran for mayor in 2002, but lost to incumbent Sharpe James; he ran again in 2006 and won against deputy mayor Ronald Rice. His first term saw to the doubling of affordable housing under development and the reduction of the city budget deficit from $180 million to $73 million. He was re-elected in 2010. He ran against Steve Lonegan in the 2013 U.S. Senate special election and subsequently won reelection in 2014 against Jeff Bell.

As senator, his voting record was measured as the third most liberal. Considered a social liberal, Booker supports women's rights, affirmative action, same-sex marriage and single-payer healthcare. During his five years in office, Booker co-sponsored and voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (2013), tougher sanctions against Iran, sponsored the Bipartisan Budget Act (2013), voted for the National Defense Authorization Act (2014), co-sponsored the Respect for Marriage Act (2014) and led the push to pass the First Step Act (2018). In 2017, he became the first sitting senator to testify against another when he testified against Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing. In April 2018, following the FBI raid on the offices of Michael Cohen–U.S. President Donald Trump's personal attorney–Booker together with Chris Coons, Lindsey Graham, and Thom Tillis, introduced the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to limit the executive powers of Trump.

Danny DeVito

Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. (born November 17, 1944) is an American actor and filmmaker. He gained prominence for his portrayal of the taxi dispatcher Louie De Palma in the television series Taxi (1978–1983), which won him a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award.

A major film star, he is known for his roles in Tin Men, Throw Momma from the Train, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ruthless People, Man on the Moon, Terms of Endearment, Romancing the Stone, Twins, Batman Returns, Look Who's Talking Now, Big Fish, Other People's Money, Get Shorty, Be Cool and L.A. Confidential, and for his voiceovers in such films as Space Jam, Hercules and The Lorax.

DeVito and Michael Shamberg founded Jersey Films. Soon afterwards, Stacey Sher became an equal partner. The production company is known for films such as Pulp Fiction, Garden State, and Freedom Writers. DeVito also owned Jersey Television, which produced the Comedy Central series Reno 911!. DeVito and wife Rhea Perlman starred together in his 1996 film Matilda, based on Roald Dahl's children's novel. DeVito was also one of the producers nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture for Erin Brockovich.

He stars as Frank Reynolds on the FX and FXX sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He directed, produced and appeared in graphic, short, horror films for his Internet venture The Blood Factory.DeVito's short stature is the result of multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (Fairbank's disease), a rare genetic disorder that affects bone growth in those afflicted.

Forbes

Forbes () is an American business magazine. Published bi-weekly, it features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. Forbes also reports on related subjects such as technology, communications, science, politics, and law. Its headquarters is located in Jersey City, New Jersey. Primary competitors in the national business magazine category include Fortune and Bloomberg Businessweek. The magazine is well known for its lists and rankings, including of the richest Americans (the Forbes 400), of the world's top companies (the Forbes Global 2000), and The World's Billionaires. The motto of Forbes magazine is "The Capitalist Tool". Its chair and editor-in-chief is Steve Forbes, and its CEO is Mike Federle. It was sold to a Hong Kong-based investment group, Integrated Whale Media Investments.

Gerard Way

Gerard Arthur Way (born April 9, 1977) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and comic book writer who was the lead vocalist and co-founder of the rock band My Chemical Romance from its formation in September 2001 until its split in March 2013. His debut solo album Hesitant Alien was released on September 30, 2014. Way is also the co-founder of DC Comics' Young Animal imprint. He wrote the comic mini-series The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys and the Eisner Award-winning comic book series The Umbrella Academy.

Halsey (singer)

Ashley Nicolette Frangipane (; born September 29, 1994), known professionally as Halsey (), is an American singer and songwriter. Musically talented from a young age, she began songwriting at seventeen. In 2012, she began releasing music on social media platforms, and was signed by Astralwerks in 2014. Soon after, she released her debut EP, Room 93 (2014), and toured with larger acts to promote it.

Her debut studio album Badlands was released in 2015. Spawning four platinum tracks and two gold tracks, Badlands peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200 and was certified platinum in the US. To promote the album, she embarked on her debut headlining world tour. In 2017, Halsey released her second studio album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, which consisted of more "radio friendly" music than her prior releases. It peaked at number one in the US, and was preceded by "Now or Never", which debuted at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became Halsey's first solo track to earn multi-platinum status. The album also produced "Bad at Love", which became her first top-five entry on the Billboard hot 100 as a solo artist. In 2018, Halsey released "Without Me", which became her first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 as a solo artist.

Outside of her solo music, several of Halsey's collaborations had top-twenty entries on the Billboard Hot 100. "Closer", which Halsey also cowrote, topped charts in major music markets and won a number of accolades.

Halsey is noted for her distinctive singing voice. Her music focuses on her personal experiences and telling a story. Her accolades include a Grammy nomination and four Billboard Music Awards. Outside of her career, Halsey has been involved in suicide prevention awareness and sexual assault victim advocacy.

James Gandolfini

James Joseph Gandolfini Jr. (Italian: [gandɔlfiːni]; September 18, 1961 – June 19, 2013) was an American actor best known for his role as Tony Soprano, the Italian-American crime boss in HBO's television series The Sopranos. He won three Emmy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and one Golden Globe Award. Gandolfini’s performance as Tony Soprano is widely regarded as one of the greatest performances in television history.

His notable film roles include mob henchman Virgil in True Romance (1993), Lt. Bobby Dougherty in Crimson Tide (1995), and Mayor of New York in The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009). Other roles are enforcer and stuntman Bear in Get Shorty (1995) and impulsive "Wild Thing" Carol in Where the Wild Things Are (2009). For his performance as Albert in Enough Said (2013), Gandolfini posthumously received much critical praise and several accolades, including a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination and the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor.

In 2007, Gandolfini produced Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq, a documentary in which he interviewed injured Iraq War veterans and in 2010, Wartorn: 1861–2010 examining the impact of posttraumatic stress disorder on soldiers and families throughout several wars in American history from 1861 to 2010.

Jersey City, New Jersey

Jersey City is the second most populous city in the U.S. state of New Jersey, after Newark. It is the seat of Hudson County as well as the county's largest city. As of 2017, the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program calculated that Jersey City's population was 270,753, with the largest population increase of any municipality in New Jersey since 2010, an increase of about 9.4% from the 2010 United States Census, when the city's population was at 247,597. ranking the city the 75th-most-populous in the nation.Part of the New York metropolitan area, Jersey City is bounded on the east by the Hudson River and Upper New York Bay and on the west by the Hackensack River and Newark Bay. A port of entry, with 30.7 miles (49.4 km) of waterfront and extensive rail infrastructure and connectivity, the city is an important transportation terminus and distribution and manufacturing center for the Port of New York and New Jersey. Jersey City shares significant mass transit connections with Manhattan. Redevelopment of the Jersey City waterfront has made the city one of the largest centers of banking and finance in the United States and has led to the district being nicknamed Wall Street West.After a peak population of 316,715 measured in the 1930 Census, the city's population saw a half-century-long decline to a nadir of 223,532 in the 1980 Census. Since then, the city's population has rebounded, with the 2010 population reflecting an increase of 7,542 (+3.1%) from the 240,055 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 11,518 (+5.0%) from the 228,537 counted in the 1990 Census.

Jon Bon Jovi

John Francis Bongiovi Jr. (born March 2, 1962), known professionally as Jon Bon Jovi, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and actor. Bon Jovi is best known as the founder and frontman of the rock band Bon Jovi, which was formed in 1983.

Bon Jovi has released 2 solo albums and 12 studio albums with his band, which to date have sold over 130 million albums worldwide, thus making them one of the world's best-selling music artists. In the 1990s, Bon Jovi started an acting career, starring in various movie roles, including: Moonlight and Valentino and U-571 and has made several TV appearances in various series, including: Sex and the City and Ally McBeal.

As a songwriter, Bon Jovi was inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2012, Bon Jovi ranked #50 on the list of Billboard Magazine's "Power 100", a ranking of "The Most Powerful and Influential People In The Music Business". In 1996, People Magazine named him one of the "50 Most Beautiful People In The World". In 2000, People awarded him the title, "Sexiest Rock Star", and he was placed at #13 on VH1's "100 Sexiest Artists". Bon Jovi was ranked #31 on the "Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists" list by Hit Parader.Bon Jovi was a founder and majority owner of the Arena Football League team, the Philadelphia Soul. He is the founder of The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, founded in 2006, to combat issues that force families and individuals into economic despair. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey, in 2001.

New Jersey

New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the Northeastern United States. It is a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, particularly along the extent of the length of New York City on its western edge; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by the Delaware Bay and Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 9 million residents as of 2017, and the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states; its biggest city is Newark. New Jersey lies completely within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia and was the second-wealthiest U.S. state by median household income as of 2017.New Jersey was inhabited by Native Americans for more than 2,800 years, with historical tribes such as the Lenape along the coast. In the early 17th century, the Dutch and the Swedes founded the first European settlements in the state. The English later seized control of the region, naming it the Province of New Jersey after the largest of the Channel Islands, Jersey, and granting it as a colony to Sir George Carteret and John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton. New Jersey was the site of several decisive battles during the American Revolutionary War in the 18th century.

In the 19th century, factories in cities (known as the "Big Six"), Camden, Paterson, Newark, Trenton, Jersey City, and Elizabeth helped to drive the Industrial Revolution. New Jersey's geographic location at the center of the Northeast megalopolis, between Boston and New York City to the northeast, and Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., to the southwest, fueled its rapid growth through the process of suburbanization in the second half of the 20th century. In the first decades of the 21st century, this suburbanization began reverting with the consolidation of New Jersey's culturally diverse populace toward more urban settings within the state, with towns home to commuter rail stations outpacing the population growth of more automobile-oriented suburbs since 2008.

New York metropolitan area

The New York metropolitan area is the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass, at 4,495 sq mi (11,640 km2). The metropolitan area includes New York City (the most populous city in the United States), Long Island, and the Mid and Lower Hudson Valley in the state of New York; the five largest cities in New Jersey: Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, and Edison, and their vicinities; six of the seven largest cities in Connecticut: Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury, Norwalk, and Danbury, and their vicinities.

The New York metropolitan area remains, by a significant margin, the most populous in the United States, as defined by both the Metropolitan Statistical Area (20.3 million residents in 2017) and the Combined Statistical Area (23.7 million residents in 2016). It is the largest urban agglomeration in the Americas and the tenth largest in the world. The New York metropolitan area continues to be the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States, with the largest foreign-born population of any metropolitan region in the world. The MSA covers 6,720 sq mi (17,405 km2), while the CSA area is 13,318 sq mi (34,493 km2), encompassing an ethnically and geographically diverse region. The New York metropolitan area's population is larger than that of the state of New York, and the metropolitan airspace accommodated over 130 million passengers in 2016.As a center of many industries, including finance, international trade, new and traditional media, real estate, education, fashion, entertainment, tourism, biotechnology, law, and manufacturing, the New York City metropolitan region is one of the most important economic regions in the world; in 2015, the MSA produced a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of nearly US$1.60 trillion, while in 2015, the CSA had a GMP of over US$1.83 trillion, both ranking first nationally by a wide margin and behind the GDP of only nine nations and seven nations, respectively. In 2012, the New York metropolitan area was also home to seven of the 25 wealthiest counties in the United States by median household income, according to the American Community Survey. According to Forbes, in 2014, the New York City metropolitan area was home to eight of the top ten ZIP codes in the United States by median housing price, with six in Manhattan alone. The New York Metropolitan Area also houses five of the top ten richest places in America, according to Bloomberg. These are Scarsdale, NY; Short Hills, NJ; Old Greenwich, CT; Bronxville, NY; and Darien, CT.The New York metropolitan region's higher education network comprises hundreds of colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Princeton University, and Yale University, which are ranked among the top 3 universities in the United States and top 10 in the world. Institutions such as New York University, Rockefeller University, and the Cornell Tech campus of Cornell University additionally have been ranked among the top 40 in the world.

Newark, New Jersey

Newark (, locally ) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Jersey and the seat of Essex County. As one of the nation's major air, shipping, and rail hubs, the city had a population of 285,154 in 2017, making it the nation's 70th-most populous municipality, after being ranked 63rd in the nation in 2000.Settled in 1666 by Puritans from New Haven Colony, Newark is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Its location at the mouth of the Passaic River (where it flows into Newark Bay) has made the city's waterfront an integral part of the Port of New York and New Jersey. Today, Port Newark–Elizabeth is the primary container shipping terminal of the busiest seaport on the American East Coast. In addition, Newark Liberty International Airport was the first municipal commercial airport in the United States, and today is one of its busiest.Several leading companies have their headquarters in Newark, including Prudential, PSEG, Panasonic Corporation of North America, Audible.com, IDT Corporation, and Manischewitz. A number of important higher education institutions are also in the city, including the Newark campus of Rutgers University (which includes law and medical schools and the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies); the New Jersey Institute of Technology; and Seton Hall University's law school. The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey sits in the city as well. Local cultural venues include the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark Symphony Hall, the Prudential Center and the Newark Museum.

Newark is divided into five political wards (the East, West, South, North and Central wards) and contains neighborhoods ranging in character from bustling urban districts to quiet suburban enclaves. Newark's Branch Brook Park is the oldest county park in the United States and is home to the nation's largest collection of cherry blossom trees, numbering over 5,000. The park borders the Forest Hill section, Belleville, and the Roseville section. It even is home to the Ballantine Gates located at Ballantine Parkway & Lake St.

Princeton University

Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The institution moved to Newark in 1747, then to the current site nine years later, and renamed itself Princeton University in 1896.Princeton provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. It offers professional degrees through the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Architecture and the Bendheim Center for Finance. The university has ties with the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton Theological Seminary and the Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Princeton has the largest endowment per student in the United States. From 2001 to 2018, Princeton University was ranked either first or second among national universities by U.S. News & World Report, holding the top spot for 16 of those 18 years.As of October 2018, 65 Nobel laureates, 15 Fields Medalists and 13 Turing Award laureates have been affiliated with Princeton University as alumni, faculty members or researchers. In addition, Princeton has been associated with 21 National Medal of Science winners, 5 Abel Prize winners, 5 National Humanities Medal recipients, 209 Rhodes Scholars, 139 Gates Cambridge Scholars and 126 Marshall Scholars. Two U.S. Presidents, twelve U.S. Supreme Court Justices (three of whom currently serve on the court) and numerous living billionaires and foreign heads of state are all counted among Princeton's alumni body. Princeton has also graduated many prominent members of the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Cabinet, including eight Secretaries of State, three Secretaries of Defense and three of the past five Chairs of the Federal Reserve.

Queen Latifah

Dana Elaine Owens (born March 18, 1970), known professionally as Queen Latifah, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, actress, and producer. Born in Newark, New Jersey, she signed with Tommy Boy Records in 1989 and released her debut album All Hail the Queen the same year, featuring the hit single "Ladies First". Nature of a Sista (1991) was her second and final album with Tommy Boy Records.

Latifah starred as Khadijah James on the FOX sitcom Living Single, from 1993 to 1998. Her third album Black Reign (1993), spawned the single "U.N.I.T.Y.", which won a Grammy Award and was successful on the Billboard Hot 100. She then starred in the lead role of Set It Off (1996) and released her fourth album, Order in the Court, in 1998, with Motown Records. Latifah gained mainstream success and acclaim with her performance in the film Chicago (2002), receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Latifah released her fifth album The Dana Owens Album in 2004. In 2007 and 2009, she released two more studio albums – Trav'lin' Light and Persona. She created the daytime talk show The Queen Latifah Show, which ran from late 2013 to early 2015 on CBS. She has appeared in a number of films, such as Bringing Down the House (2003), Taxi (2004), Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2005), Beauty Shop (2005), Last Holiday (2006), Hairspray (2007), Joyful Noise (2012), 22 Jump Street (2014) and Girls Trip (2017). Latifah received critical acclaim for her portrayal of blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO film Bessie (2015), which she co-produced, winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie. Since 2016, she has starred as Carlotta Brown in the musical drama series Star.

She has long been considered one of hip-hop's pioneer feminists. Queen Latifah received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006. Latifah's work in music, film and television has earned her a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, an Academy Award nomination and sales of over two million records.

Rutgers University

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (), commonly referred to as Rutgers University, Rutgers, or RU, is a public research university in New Jersey. It is the largest institution of higher education in New Jersey.

Rutgers was originally chartered as Queen's College on November 10, 1766. It is the eighth-oldest college in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The college was renamed Rutgers College in 1825 in honor of Colonel Henry Rutgers. For most of its existence, Rutgers was a private liberal arts college but it evolved into a coeducational public research university after being designated "The State University of New Jersey" by the New Jersey Legislature in laws enacted in 1945 and 1956.Rutgers has three campuses located throughout New Jersey: New Brunswick campus in New Brunswick and adjacent Piscataway, the Newark campus, and the Camden campus. The university has additional facilities elsewhere in the state. Instruction is offered by 9,000 faculty members in 175 academic departments to over 45,000 undergraduate students and more than 20,000 graduate and professional students. The university is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Association of American Universities and the Universities Research Association. The New Brunswick campus was categorized by Howard and Matthew Green in their book titled The Public Ivies: America's Flagship Public Universities (2001) as a Public Ivy.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman, who has been described as America's greatest inventor. He is credited with developing many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures. These inventions, which include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb, had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world. He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees. He is often credited with establishing the first industrial research laboratory.Edison was raised in the American midwest and early in his career he worked as a telegraph operator, which inspired some of his earliest inventions. In 1876, he established his first laboratory facility in Menlo Park, New Jersey, where many of his early inventions would be developed. He would later establish a botanic laboratory in Fort Myers, Florida in collaboration with businessmen Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone, and a laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey that featured the world's first film studio, the Black Maria. He was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as patents in other countries. Edison married twice and fathered six children. He died in 1931 of complications of diabetes.

Whitney Houston

Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer and actress. She was cited as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records and remains one of the best-selling music artists of all time with 200 million records sold worldwide. She released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums, all of which have been certified diamond, multi-platinum, platinum, or gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts—as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for "How Will I Know"—influenced several African-American women artists who followed in her footsteps.

Houston began singing in church as a child and became a background vocalist while in high school. With the guidance of Arista Records chairman Clive Davis, she signed to the label at the age of 19. Her first two studio albums, Whitney Houston (1985) and Whitney (1987), both reached number one on the Billboard 200 in the United States and became two of the world's best-selling albums of all time. She became the only artist to have seven consecutive number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, from "Saving All My Love for You" in 1985 to "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" in 1988.

Houston made her screen acting debut in the romantic thriller film The Bodyguard (1992). She recorded seven songs for the film's soundtrack, including "I Will Always Love You", which received the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and became the best-selling single by a woman in music history. The soundtrack album received the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and remains the world's best-selling soundtrack album of all time. Houston made other high-profile film appearances, including Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher's Wife (1996). The theme song "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" became her eleventh and final number-one single on the Hot 100 chart, while The Preacher Wife's soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album in history.

Following the critical and commercial success of My Love Is Your Love (1998), Houston signed a $100 million contract with Arista Records. However, her personal struggles began overshadowing her career, and the album Just Whitney (2002) received mixed reviews. Her drug use and tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown were widely publicized in media. After a six-year break from recording, Houston returned to the top of the Billboard 200 chart with her final studio album, I Look to You (2009).

On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead in the Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, California. The coroner's report showed that she had accidentally drowned in the bathtub, with heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors. News of her death coincided with the 2012 Grammy Awards and featured prominently in international media.

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