Artists lost to violence
Born Gerald Levy, and also known as Bogle Dancer, Mr Bogle, Father Bogle, and Mr Wacky, was a Jamaican dancehall star.
On January 20, 2005, Levy and four others were in his car at a shopping-district gas station, when two men on a motorcycle rode by, shooting into the vehicle. The passengers were rushed to Kingston Public Hospital, where the 40-year-old Levy was pronounced dead.
Marcus ‘Bionic Steve’ Townsend, an entertainer made popular by his feisty song Fly the Gate, which was turned into a political anthem. Bionic Steve was shot and killed on January 17, 1997. His mangled body was found in a gully on Spanish Town Road.
Carlton "Carly" Barrett
Carlton was an influential reggae drummer and percussion player. Carlton is credited for writing the well known Bob Marley song "War".
On April 17, 1987, just as Carlton arrived at his Kingston home and walked across his yard, a gunman stepped up behind him and shot him twice in the head. He was dead on arrival at a Kingston hospital at age 36. The original drummer of the Wailers was allegedly ambushed at his gate by his ex-wife’s boyfriend.
Born Vernel Dixon, Charlie Ace in fact remains one of music’s largely forgotten deejay originals. Charlie Ace’s colorful Swing-a-Ling mobile recording studio
was a common sight in the ghettos of Kingston back in the 1970's. Swing-a-Ling was a move-able feast of sound from which Ace handed vinyl pressings like leavened bread for the crowds.
Charlie was shot and killed in 1980 – exact circumstances of his death remain unknown.
Born Patrick Thompson in Spanish Town, Dirtsman was a Jamaican dancehall deejay known for his hit "Hot this Year". He was the son of the owner of the Black Universal Sound System, and was the brother of dancehall icon Papa San.
Dirtsman was robbed and shot dead at his home in Dela Vega City, Spanish Town, St. Catherine.
In January 2011, NY police confirms that a Jamaican dancehall artiste who tried to break up a fight outside a Queens banquet hall was the city's first 2011 murder victim. The police said an unidentified gunman shot and killed Dwayne Haughton AKA "Bobby Genius", 29, early on Saturday morning in the Richmond Hill section of Queens. The police said they found Haughton bleeding from neck and chest wounds, and he died a short time later at Jamaica Medical Center in Queens.
Early B "The Doctor"
Earlando Arrington Neil got his name through gaining a reputation for arriving early in the dance, so Earlando became Early Bird and eventually just Early B. He was a dancehall & reggae DJ whose lyrics had a cultural bent, noted mainly in his hits Visit of King Selassie & History of Jamaica. In 1986 Early B was voted deejay of the year in Jamaica. He later moved to America.
On the 11th of December, 1994, he was shot at Windsor Cricket Club, Dorchester, MA. He was hit by a stray bullet and was killed.
Born Winston Hubert McIntosh was a Jamaican reggae musician. Along with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer he was one of the core members of the band The Wailers . After which he established himself as a successful solo artist and a promoter of Rastafari.
Though Bob Marley's name later became synonymous with the Wailers, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer were definitely equals with Marley in the band. As a songwriter, Tosh contributed many of the band's hits, including "400 Years," "Get Up, Stand Up," "No Sympathy," and "Stop That Train." His skillful guitar playing and vocal skills were also central to the band's sound.
Peter Tosh saw himself as a revolutionary, and was vehement in his efforts to tear down "Babylon." He coined his own words for many of the things which he hated, including "politricks" for politics, "shitstem" for system, and "Crime Ministers" for Prime Ministers. It was this attitude that earned him the nickname "Steppin' Razor."
On 11 September 1987, just after Tosh had returned to his home in Jamaica, a three-man gang came to his house demanding money. They stayed at his residence for several hours and tortured him. During this time, Tosh's friends and associates also arrived at his house to greet him because of his return to Jamaica. As people arrived, the gunmen became more and more frustrated, especially the chief thug, Dennis "Leppo" Lobban, a man whom Tosh had previously befriended and tried to help find work after a long jail sentence. Tosh said he did not have any money in the house, after which Lobban put a gun to Tosh's head and shot once, killing him. The other gunmen began shooting, wounding several other people and also killing disc jockeys Doc Brown and Jeff "Free I" Dixon. Leppo surrendered to the authorities. He was sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted in 1995 and he remains in jail. The other two gunmen were never identified by name.
In October, 2012 Tosh was posthumously awarded Jamaica's third highest honour, the Order of Merit.
Arrows counts among the early sound system pioneers, started out as a selector building a name and business Arrows Sound System started in 1965 when Billy, as he was affectionately known, working from his home an area known as Dunkirk, Eastern Kingston, along with his brother Ivan “Sonny” Linton, and their friend Robert Johnson, set out to make Arrows a brand.
The system broke up in the late 1980s, after which Linton founded Arrows Recording Company (1990) and later Arrows Studio, on Windward Road, Kingston which became "one of Jamaica's absolute full-service audio facilities.On March 4, 2004, at about 9:15 a.m., Linton parked his Ford F150 in the parking lot of the company.
While he waited for the steel door entrance from the parking lot to be opened, an assailant pounced upon him and critically wounded him. Suffering from gunshot wounds to the head, he was rushed to nearby Kingston Public Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Prince Far I
Prince Far I born Micheal James Williams was a Jamaican deejay, dub poet, producer and a Rastafarian. He was known for his gruff voice and critical assessment of the Jamaican government. His track "Heavy Manners" used lyrics against measures initiated towards violent crime.
On September 15, 1983, Prince Far I's proselytizing came to an abrupt end when he was killed during a robbery at his home
Born Earl Anthony Robinson aka Ranking Slackness, was one of the first reggae deejays to move away from 'cultural' lyrics towards 'slackness' (risqué or sexually explicit lyrics).
Echo was shot dead by police in Kingston, Jamaica in 1980 along with selector Flux, and Stereo Phonic owner Leon 'Big John' Johns, after they had stopped the car they were travelling in. The incident has never been satisfactorily explained.
Henry "Junjo" Lawes
Born in the Waterhouse district of Kingston, Jamaica, Henry "Junjo" Lawes began working as a producer in the late 1970s.
He worked with many reggae, dancehall and dub artists such as Linval Thompson, Scientist, Barrington Levy, Don Carlos, Frankie Paul and most importantly with Yellowman, all for his record label Volcano, which spawned a highly popular sound system of the same name. He later worked with Beenie Man and Ninjaman
On 14 June 1999, he was shot dead in a drive-by shooting, whilst in Harlesden, northwest London. The case remains unsolved.
Born Franklin Delano Alexander Braithwaite was a reggae musician from Kingston, Jamaica, the youngest member of the vocal group, The Wailing Wailers. The Wailing Wailers was a vocal group Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh started in 1963, together with Braithwaite, when ska music had become popular in Jamaica.
Braithwaite was murdered on 2 June 1999 in the home of a fellow musician in Duhaney Park, Kingston.
Born Osbourne Ruddock was a Jamaican electronics and sound engineer, known primarily for his influence on the development of dub in the 1960s and 1970s.
King Tubby was shot and killed on 6 February 1989, outside his home in Duhaney Park, Kingston, upon returning from a session at his Waterhouse studio.
Lucky Philip Dube (pronounced doo-beh) was a South African reggae musician and Rastafarian. He recorded 22 albums in Zulu, English and Afrikaans in a 25-year period and was South Africa's biggest-selling reggae artist.
Dube was murdered in the Johannesburg suburb of Rosettenville on the evening of 18 October 2007.
Born Michael Smith was a Jamaican dub poet. Along with Linton Kwesi Johnson, and Mutabaruka, he was one of the best-known dub poets. In 1978, Smith represented Jamaica at the 11th World Festival of Youth and Students in Cuba. His album Mi Cyaan Believe It includes his poem of the same name. He had left-anarchist leanings and Rastafarian sympathies.
Smith was killed following a clash at a political rally at Stony Hill, St. Andrew on 17 August 1983 (Marcus Garvey's birthday); After arguing with three men he was hit by a stone thrown by one of them.
Born Glen Augustus Holness was a popular Reggae singer.
On 24 June 1991 at 3:30pm while at Brooklyn, New York’s Superpower
Records, Nitty Gritty and DJ Supercat reportedly entered into an argument over money and a Jr Cat stage show.
Details are unknown, but it was reported that both men fired handguns at one another and Supercat allegedly shot Nitty Gritty four times. Nitty Gritty died on the spot.
To our knowledge Supercat was never jailed and he was found innocent on the grounds of self-defense. DJ Super Cat was initially suspected yet later cleared.
Reports are that he received 5 shots to his chest, side and head. After doing a number of surgeries he still remain unconcious until May 26, 2010 when he died.
O'niel Edwards "Voicemail"
Born O'Neil Jason Charles Edwards was a dancehall reggae singer/dancer. Oneil was the son of artiste producer Rupee Edwards. In 1999 he joined with Jerome "Craig" Jackson, Kevin Blair, Robert Manning and Leonardo Grant to form the group known as Voicemail.
On May 5, 2010 Oneil Edwards was returning home to his house in Duhaney Park early in the morning when he was robbed and shot at his gate.
Born Anthony Johnson was a raggae and dancehall deejay who emerged in 1985 after working for several years with the Love Vibration and Scorpio sound systems, he released his first single, "Gimme Lickle Lovin'" in 1988.
Releases such as "Respect Gunman", "Punny Printer", and "Gunman Tune" were immediately popular in Jamaica.As his popularity grew, he performed with the likes of Buju Banton, Beenie Man, and Capleton.
Pan Head's career was cut short when he was shot dead as he left a dance in Spanish Town in October 1993, leaving a widow and two children. The crime has never been solved.
Pan Head's death shocked the music community in Kingston, and prompted several performers to record tributes. Capleton recorded "Cold Blooded Murderer", Buju Banton released the single "Murderer", and Beenie Man and Luciano collaborated on "No Mama No Cry", which went to number one in Jamaica in 1994.
Hugh Mundell was a Jamaican reggae singer and songwriter. Mundell also performed on the island sound system circuit with the likes of Barrington Levy, Burro Banton, Ranking Toyan, Junior Reid, and Elfigo Barker. He also performed for Killamanjaro Sound System with artists like Super Cat, John Wayne, Dirty Harry, Junior Reid, Madoo, Hopeton James, Puddy Roots, and Major Manzie.
Mundell was shot to death on October 1983 while sitting in his vehicle Grant's Pen Avenue, Kingston, Jamaica. Also in the car were Mundell's wife in the passenger seat and "One Blood" singer Junior Reid.
Born Clive Bright was a prominent dancehall singer in the 1980s, and one of the most influential singers of the early digital reggae era. His best-known song was the 1985 hit "Ring the Alarm" on the "Stalag 17" riddim.
Tenor Saw was found Dead on the roadside, Texas (said to be a case of hit & run driving) August 1998
Theophilus Beckford was a Jamaican pianist and one of the pioneers of Jamaican popular music during the transition from Rhythm 'n' Blues to Jamaican Ska.
Beckford died on 19 February 2001 as a result of injuries sustained from a machete wound to the head after an argument with a neighbour in the Washington Gardens area of Kingston.