February 1, 2021 | Natasha VonCastle |
Today, VP Records remembers and celebrates “The Crown Prince Of Reggae” himself, Dennis Brown, on what would have been his 64th Birthday. His birthday also marks the first day of Reggae Month, which takes place every February.
Hailed by NPR as “one of the top 50 great voices of all time” – the Jamaican music icon began his recording career at the tender age of 11 and released more than 75 albums during his all too short 42 years on Earth. Although the reggae legend passed away in 1999, his music and legacy lives on.
Brown was greatly influenced by American balladeers such as Sam Cooke, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin as well as Jamaican singers like Delroy Wilson and John Holt. He cut his first tune ‘No Man Is An Island’ at Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s famous Studio One at the age of 12 and within years, was soon dubbed the “Boy Wonder of Jamaica” and “Crown Prince of Reggae.” Before 16, he had worked with Jamaica’s top recording artists (Alton Ellis, Horace Andy) and producers of the time (Prince Buster, Dennis Alcapone, Winston “Niney” Holness and Vincent “Randy” Chin), going on to release multiple highly acclaimed classic albums throughout the 70s and 80s.
‘Money in my Pocket’ peaked at #14 on UK Top 40 chart becoming one of the biggest international hits in Jamaica’s history. Enthusiastically adapting to the new dancehall era, Brown released a huge amount of work throughout the 1980s and 1990s recording with genre’s major producers like King Jammy and Gussie Clarke, before his passing. His 1994 album Light My Fire and 2001 release ‘Let Me Be the One’ were both nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.
5 years ago, VP paid homage to Brown with an extensive tribute album of his timeless hits and deep cuts titled, ‘We Remember Dennis Brown’. The 30-song collection features a wide and impressive range of reggae and R&B voices covering crucial Dennis Brown classics, from Marsha Ambrosius, Freddie McGregor and Maxi Priest to Romain Virgo, Ikaya, and Jah9. His iconic status and pivotal place in the history of reggae music is highlighted by the range of artists and power in the musical selections on the album.
SOURCE: VP Records