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RIP Gregory Isaacs (July 15, 1951 - October 25, 2010) Featured

Entertainment News Written by  AKA Monday, 25 October 2010 01:31 font size decrease font size increase font size 0
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Reggae music lost one of its greatest and most enduring cultural icons when Gregory 'The Cool Ruler' Isaacs passed away this morning in London, one876entertainment understands. He had been battling lung cancer which has mestastasized in other parts of his body.

 

 

 

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.

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.

In 1981, he signed to Island Records and released the record that finally saw him break through to a wider audience, "Night Nurse", the title track from his first album for the label (Night Nurse (1982)).Although "Night Nurse" was not a chart hit in either the UK or US, it was hugely popular in clubs and received heavy radio play, and the album reached #32 in the UK. This success for Isaacs coincided with drug problems which saw him serve a six-month prison sentence in Kingston in 1982 for possession of unlicensed firearms. Isaacs claimed that he had the weapons only for protection, but it emerged that this was his 27th arrest and that Isaacs had become involved in drug dealing and had become addicted to crack cocaine.

He celebrated his release from prison with his second album for Island, Out Deh! (1983).

In 1997 Simply Red covered "Night Nurse" and had a hit with it. In 2005 Lady Saw produced another version of "Night Nurse" with her toasting over the original lyrics.

Isaacs' 1985 album Private Beach Party had a massive hit with "Rumours" in 1988, which was followed by further popular singles including "Mind Yu Dis", "Rough Neck", "Too Good To Be True", and "Report to Me".

In 2008, after some 40 years as a recording artist, Isaacs released a new studio album Brand New Me with Tads Records. The album received positive reviews from critics.

Read 1790 times Last modified on Monday, 25 October 2010 02:51

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