David was born in Belmont, Trinidad on May 6, 1953. One of nine children, he spent much of his early childhood with his grandmother, a spiritual Baptist, growing up near a pan yard and a Shango yard, in a neighbourhood where boys dreamed of being entertainers. He has been baptized three times: as a Baptist by his grandmother, as an Anglican by his mother and as a Catholic when he started school. It was at school that he discovered how much art, painting and sculpture really interested him. Rudder began singing at the age of 11 with a group called The Solutions.