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Grange saddened by passing of Reggae legend Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry

Published:Sunday | August 29, 2021 | 2:42 PM
Grange: What a man, what a music, what a life, what a genius! I am incredibly saddened by his passing, but I will continue to celebrate his genius and the body of work he’s given us.

Culture Minister Olivia Grange, is saddened by the passing of the reggae pioneer, record producer and singer Lee 'Scratch' Perry.

Perry passed away this morning at the Noel Holmes Hospital in Hanover.

"Lee 'Scratch' Perry was a giant of Jamaican music.  His contribution to developing and propelling Ska, Rocksteady and Reggae has been mammoth," Grange said in a release.

She noted that Perry started as an apprentice to the legendary 'Sir Coxsone' at Studio One in the 1950s and spent the rest of his life helping to develop Jamaican music.

"I recall his work with Bob Marley.  It is said that Scratch helped with formulating Marley's unique sound. The story is told that 'Scratch' gave his Upsetter band to Marley and that band later became known as The Wailers," the Entertainment Minister said.

Numbered among Lee Perry's great works with The Wailers are Duppy Conqueror, Small Axe, Rastaman Live Up, and Jah Live.

Perry has produced an impressive body of work that charts the evolution of Jamaican music — with more than 1,000 songs over 60 years.  

His latest release in 2019 was a 12-track album, 'Heavy Rain' that topped the Billboard Reggae Album Charts.

He is survived by widow, Mireille, children, and other relatives.

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