Singer, songwriter, producer and recording executive Gregory Isaacs called the “Cool Ruler” died at 59 from lung cancer. He had traveled to the UK for medical tests earlier this year, according to his manager Copeland Forbes, and died in London on October 24th.
Jamaican Culture Minister Olivia Grange, who led a tribute to Isaacs, said, “… as a fan of good Jamaican music and as a good friend, I mourn his loss and hope that his struggle and eventual success will be a model for young Jamaicans in the entertainment sector”. Bertram Johnson, General Secretary of the Jamaica Association of Vintage Artiste’s and Associates (JAVAA) extended condolences to Isaac’s family, friends and fans around the world and said Isaacs would be inducted into the Jamaica Music Hall of Fame.
Isaacs was born July 15th, 1951 in Denham Town, West Kingston. As a teenager he won several talent shows and recorded his first single as a duet with Winston Sinclair in 1968 before joining the group The Concords. He launched his solo career in 1970 and formed his African Museum recording company with singer Errol Dunkley. He had problems with the law and in 1982 he was arrested and sentenced to jail for illegal possession of a firearm. He also had serious problems with cocaine addiction. His manager said Isaacs had medical issues concerning his legs which resulted in the cancellation of tours last year but over the last 12 months he had a very hectic schedule traveling world wide performing.
His “Night Nurse”, “Tune In”, “My Number One”, “Rumours” and “The Border” are amongst his many hits. He produced more than 500 albums