Reggae musician, Gregory Isaacs, passed away at his London home this morning (25 October) following a year-long battle with lung cancer.
The Jamaican singer is best known for his 1982 album Night Nurse, but over the course of his career Isaacs released an estimated 500 albums. In the process working with some of the biggest names in reggae, dub and dancehall – people such as Lee “Scratch” Perry, King Tubby, Sugar Minott, Freddie McGregor, Dennis Brown and Errol Holt.
Isaacs was poised to become a worldwide star when Night Nurse climbed to Number 32 in the British charts, but instead found himself sentenced to six months in a Jamaican prison on illegal firearm charges. With over 50 reported arrests in his lifetime, Isaacs became dubbed as the “Cool Ruler” by fans.
Isaacs wrestled with drug addiction throughout his career, eventually losing his teeth and jeopardizing his legendary voice from persistent drug use, but he continued to make music, releasing his final album, Brand New Me, in 2008.
One of the most popular and versatile reggae singers of his time, Isaacs’s wife Linda said: “Gregory was well-loved by everyone, his fans and his family. He worked really hard to make sure he delivered the music they loved and enjoyed.”
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