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Gregory Isaacs

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Fletchers Land, Kingston, Jamaica (15 July 1951 – 25 October 2010)

Gregory Isaacs (born on 15 July 1951 in Fletchers Land, Kingston, Jamaica and died on 25 October 2010 in London) was a Reggae singer and songwriter. Gregory Anthony Isaacs is known as “The Cool Ruler” for his seductive crooning vocal style. Gregory attributed his greatest musical influences to R&B greats Sam Cooke and Percy Sledge, in addition to Delroy Wilson, Alton Ellis and Ken Boothe.

In the late 1960s, Gregory first performed in a vocal trio called The Concords, after being encouraged by Byron Lee. By 1970 the group had split up. He subsequently formed his own label, African Museum.

In the late 1970s he emerged as one of the most prolific and popular recording artists in Jamaica. He released a number of self-produced singles on his own African Museum (JA) label with Errol Dunkley. Much of Isaacs’ output reflected the ‘conscious’ themes of Roots Reggae, but Isaacs was equally adept at interpreting more mainstream Lovers Rock material. Early hits include “My Only Lover”, “Sinner Man” and “Mr. Cop”, recorded at Lee Perry’s Black Ark Studio.

A period in the 1970s with the GG’s label and its producer Alvin Ranglin produced hits like “Border” and “Number One”.

Personal problems affected him, particularly battles with a cocaine addiction and a possession charge, which prevented him from touring in North America for a significant part of his career, until a pardon could eventually be secured.

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