Jamaican reggae icon John Holt dies at 67

The Tide is High singer John Holt dies at the age of 67.

Reggae musician John Holt, who originally sang the Blondie’s hit The Tide is High, has died at the age of 67 in a London hospital on October 19, 2014. The Jamaican legend’s death elicited tributes from many artists, including Shaggy, Sean Paul and UB40, who have been prominently inspired by his songwriting.

As a lead singer of The Paragons, a ska and rocksteady vocal group from Kingston, including Bob Andy and Tyrone Evan, active in the 60s, Holt found fame when he wrote and released the 1967 hit The Tide is High, becoming one of the biggest influences in reggae music in the Caribbean country.

The track went on to the road to popularity when in went mainstream in the US. The song has so far been covered by numerous artists, including The Blondies, Atomic Kitten, Maxi Priest and Kardinal Offishall.

The artist had also written many of The Paragons’ hits such as Tonight, I See Your Face and Ali Baba. His solo career took off in 1970, after which he wrote the 1972 song Stick By Me, which became the highest-selling record in all of Jamaica the year it released.

His claim to fame in the UK can mostly be credited to his cover of Kris Kristofferson’s Help Me Make It Through the Night, which was again a top charter in the country for 11 weeks.

Through Trojan Records, Holt has released 40 albums over his career, with his last solo album Peacemaker being released in 1993.

Photo Credits: urbanislandz.com

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