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Jacob Miller

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Mandeville, Jamaica (1968 – 1980)

Jacob Miller (born in Mandeville, Jamaica on 4 May 1952 – 23 March 1980) was a Jamaican reggae artist. He was the first to record with Clement Dodd. While pursuing a prolific solo career, he became the lead singer for reggae group Inner Circle with whom he recorded until his death in a car accident at the age of 27.

He recorded three songs for Dodd, including “Love is a Message” in 1968, which the Swaby brothers, (Horace, later called Augustus Pablo, and Garth) played at their Rockers Sound System. While the song did not garner much success nor maintain Dodd’s attention in Miller, it resulted in Pablo’s sustained interest in Miller.

Jacob was featured in the film Rockers, alongside Gregory Isaacs, Big Youth and Burning Spear. In the movie, he plays the singer of a hotel houseband, played by Inner Circle, who are joined on drums by the films hero, Horsemouth (Leroy Wallace) and play a wicked live version of Tenement Yard.

Miller had close links with Bob Marley, who was known to promote him as ‘My favourite singer’. One of Jacob Millers biggest Jamaican hits ‘Tired Fe Lick Weed’ betrayed his political leanings as can be seen in his performance of the song in the film ‘Heartland Reggae’, where his open enjoyment of a ‘ganja spliff’ on stage was intended to be seen as a militant statement.

Millers most potent works are often attributed to the ‘rockers’ singles of the mid 1970’s with the band Inner Circle, with tracks like ‘Tenement yard’, ‘Tired fe Lick Weed’ and ‘Stand Firm’ among them.

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