The pioneering reggae musician has died at the age of 85 over the weekend while being treated at the Noel Holmes Hospital in his home country of Jamaica.
AceShowbiz -Reggae legend Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry has died, aged 85.
The pioneering singer and producer passed away on Sunday (29Aug21) at the Noel Holmes Hospital in western Jamaica, according to the Jamaican Observer.
Andrew Holness, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, was quick to pay tribute, tweeting, “My deep condolences to the family, friends, and fans of legendary record producer and singer, Rainford Hugh Perry OD, affectionately known as Lee Scratch Perry.”
“He has worked with and produced for various artistes, including Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Congos, Adrian Sherwood, the Beastie Boys, and many others. Undoubtedly, Lee Scratch Perry will always be remembered for his sterling contribution to the music fraternity. May his soul Rest In Peace.”
Perry’s career spanned seven decades and he was beloved by the greats, including The Rolling Stones star Keith Richards, who once called him “the Salvador Dali of music,” and Afrika Bambaataa, who claimed Perry’s sound “inspired us to start hip-hop.”
Born in Jamaica in 1936, Perry moved to Kingston in the early 1960s, and worked for Clement Dodd‘s Downbeat Sound System and Studio One, producing dozens of songs for the label.
Following a spat with the reggae mogul, Perry moved to Amalgamated Records before launching his own label, Upsetter Records.
His 1968 single, “People Funny Boy”, became a huge hit in the U.K. and Jamaica, allowing Perry to build his own backyard studio, where he would master the art of dub by remixing his own tracks, and record 1973’s “Blackboard Jungle” and the 1976 album “Super Ape“, which would become a classic.
He also co-wrote and produced several tracks which would help establish Jamaican music globally, including Junior Murvin‘s “Police & Thieves”, which would become a huge hit for The Clash from their self-titled 1977 debut album. Perry also produced the U.K. punk band’s single “Complete Control”.
A mental breakdown in 1978 halted Perry’s run of hits and he took a hiatus before returning to form and he has spent the past three decades releasing new albums annually, while collaborating with the likes of the Orb and Brian Eno.
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