Dennis Brown: a pioneer and cultural icon: The Gleaner

Winner of the Swing award for top singer in 1972, Dennis Brown (left) receives his plaque from Minister of Industry and Tourism P.J. Patterson, currently Jamaica's Prime Minister. [Picture]

PRIME MINISTER P. J. Patterson, on behalf of the Government, Opposition Leader Edward Seaga, Bruce Golding for the National Democratic Movement (NDM) and individual politicians, yesterday paused to pay tribute to the memory of Dennis Brown.

"Over the years, Dennis Brown has distinguished himself as one of the finest and most talented musicians of our time," said a news release from the Prime Minister.

"The Crown Prince of Reggae as he was commonly called has left us with a vast repertoire of songs which will continue to satisfy the hearts and minds of Jamaicans for generations to come."

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader Edward Seaga expressed shock at the death of the musician. "I remember 'Little Dennis Brown' as we called him in the '60s being a part of my youth in West Kingston," said Mr. Seaga, recalling Brown's first performance at the National Arena before an audience that included then Prime Minister Hugh Shearer.

JLP Member of Parliament Babsy Grange also reminisced about the Dennis Brown of West Kingston. "He was one of our shining stars," she said, "one we loved dearly. We shall miss him and his great musical performances." The death of Brown, the fifth international Jamaican artiste to pass away this year, "means that we'll be entering the new millennium poorer artistically," Miss Grange added.

Extending sympathies to the Brown family and members of the music fraternity, the NDM's Bruce Golding noted that "Jamaica has lost a gifted and powerful musician."

JLP MP for South Clarendon Mike Henry described Brown as one of the pioneers and "imparters of the soul and spirit of Jamaica's music."

July 1999.

Posted: Sat - April 10, 2004 at 09:35 AM