Paying homage to Dennis Brown - 'The Crown Prince Of Reggae'
Tuesday 11th April 2017 | Phil
One of the most prolific reggae artists there will ever be. Period.
Considered a very humble man by those who knew him, his legacy continues to illuminate the reggae genre.
Bob Marley himself dubbed this renowned Jamaican reggae singer and producer 'The Crown Prince Of Reggae'.
And with more than good reason.
Born in 1957 on Orange street, a small suburban area of Kingston dubbed by many as the lifeblood of the Kingston and Jamaican music scene, Dennis Emmanuel Brown made his first hit record at the age of 11 and never turned back.
Brown performed the extraordinary feat of recording over 80 studio albums and approximately 200 compilations in a career spanning over 30 years.
For many in the Caribbean, he is to them what Bob Marley is to the rest of the world.
Commentators have called for Dennis Brown to be honoured nationally and almost without exception regard him along with Alton Ellis as the two most influential reggae artists/singers other than Bob Marley.
The renowned artist is also widely credited for setting up lovers' rock as one of the UK's own indigenous reggae sounds, with many of his own classic tracks since having been covered with great commercial success.
His hit 'Man Next Door' was covered by Massive Attack featuring other reggae great Horace Andy and is regarded as one of the classic tracks from their 1998 masterpiece LP Mezzanine. In 1977 his hit single 'Money in my Pocket' scored a top ten UK chart position that received great coverage and gained huge popularity across the British Isles.
From a research paper written in tribute to Dennis, this excerpt shows that he was a true musician who cared more about the message than the money.
"There has always been a question of how many albums Dennis produced over his career. Some people say over a hundred and some say more, his legacy of hard work and dedication to his music has sparked these rumors. Brown himself admits to making eighty albums and he claims he does not have all of them in his musical library. He explained in an interview that he would like to have copies of them all but people always ask for them and he gives them away. Brown stated that people don't want to hear that you are keeping records for the sake of an archive, they want the music so he gives it to them. This shows Dennis’ extreme generosity to his listeners. His will to spread his message and songs overcome his own personnel ties to his own creations."
Sadly passing away from a debilitating respiratory illness at the age of 42. He is survived by his wife and their thirteen children.
His legacy lives on as the father of lover's rock and through the homage paid to him by many of the genre's greatest contributors and his vastly extensive back catalogue, having worked with many greats including Shabba Ranks, Gregory Isaacs and Sly & Robbie.
R.I.P 'The Crown Prince of Reggae' Dennis Emmanuel Brown, 1957-1999.