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Gregory Isaacs

After a long battle with lung cancer, Isaacs died on 25 October 2010 at his home in south London. A memorial service was held on 20 November at Kingston's National Indoor Sports Centre, including a musical tribute from artists including Lloyd Parks and We the People Band, Ken Boothe, Freddie McGregor, Shaggy, Judy Mowatt, Mavado, The Tamlins and Bongo Herman, before his remains were interred at the Dovecot Cemetery.

The Gregory Isaacs Foundation was set up on 15 July 2011 (Isaacs' birthday) by his wife June, with the intention of continuing Isaacs' charitable work. A year later a free concert was staged featuring artists such as U-Roy, Big Youth, and The Mighty Diamonds, to raise funds for two schools.


Gregory Anthony Isaacs (15 July 1951 – 25 October 2010) was a Jamaican reggae musician. Milo Miles, writing in The New York Times, described Isaacs as "the most exquisite vocalist in reggae". His nickname was the Cool Ruler.

In his teens, Isaacs became a veteran of the talent contests that regularly took place in Jamaica. In 1968, he made his recording debut with a duet with Winston Sinclair, "Another Heartache", recorded for producer Byron Lee. The single sold poorly and Isaacs went on to team up with two other vocalists (Penroe and Bramwell) in the short-lived trio The Concords, recording for Rupie Edwards and Prince Buster. The trio split up in 1970 and Isaacs launched his solo career, initially self-producing recordings and also recording further for Edwards. In 1973 he teamed up with another young singer, Errol Dunkley to start the African Museum record label and shop, and soon had a massive hit with "My Only Lover", credited as the first lovers rock record ever made. He recorded for other producers to finance further African Museum recordings, having a string of hits in the three years that followed, ranging from ballads to roots reggae, including "All I Have Is Love", "Lonely Soldier", "Black a Kill Black", "Extra Classic" and his cover version of Dobby Dobson's "Loving Pauper". In 1974 he began working with producer Alvin Ranglin, and that year he had his first Jamaican number one single with "Love Is Overdue". Isaacs recorded for many of Jamaica's top producers during the 1970s, including Winston "Niney" Holness, Gussie Clarke ("My Time"), Lloyd Campbell ("Slavemaster"), Glen Brown ("One One Cocoa Fill Basket"), Harry Mudie, Roy Cousins, Sydney Crooks and Lee "Scratch" Perry ("Mr. Cop"). By the late 1970s, Isaacs was one of the biggest reggae performers in the world, regularly touring the US and the UK, and only challenged by Dennis Brown and Bob Marley. Between 1977 and 1978, Isaacs again teamed up with Alvin Ranglin, recording a string of hits including "Border" and "Number One" for Ranglin's GG's label.

Reggae

Confirm Reservation
Cool Down The Pace
Hush Darling
If I Don't Have You
Material Man
Night Nurse
Not The Way
Objection Overruled
Oh What A Feeling
Out Deh
Rumours
Wailing Rudie

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