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Biography

Desmond Dekker (born Desmond Adolphus Dacres in Kingston, Jamaica on July 16, 1941, died May 25 2006) was a ska and reggae singer and songwriter. Together with his backing group, The Aces (consisting of Wilson James and Easton Barrington Howard), he had the first international Jamaican hit with "Israelites". Other hits include "007 (Shanty Town)" (1967), and "It Mek" (1968).

Before the ascent of Bob Marley, Desmond Dekker was the best-known Jamaican musician outside of his country, and one of the most popular within it. He was orphaned as a teenager. Dekker began working as a welder, singing around his workplace while his coworkers encouraged him. In 1961, he auditioned for Coxsone Dodd (Studio One) and Duke Reid (Treasure Isle). Neither were impressed by his talents, and the young man moved on to Leslie Kong's Beverley record label, where he auditioned before Derrick Morgan, then the label's biggest star. With Morgan's support, Dekker was signed but did not record until 1963, because Leslie Kong wanted to wait for the perfect song. Dekker's "Honour Your Father and Mother" was to be that song.

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