Published Mar 15, 2011David Emmanuel (better known by his stage name, Smiley Culture) was a breakthrough reggae star in the 1980s. Today (March 15), he died of a knife wound during a police raid on his home in Warlingham, England. He was 48.
The BBC reports that the stabbing was apparently self-inflicted, and came after Metropolitan Police officers entered his house with an arrest warrant. He was due to stand trial next week on drug charges. The Independent Police Complaints Commission will conduct an investigation on the incident.
Over the years, Smiley Culture had many run-ins with the law, and his 1984 breakout track was "Police Officer," which described a marijuana bust. He also scored a hit with the song "Cockney Translation."
His output fell off soon after his time in the spotlight. His last album came out in the mid-'80s, around the time he appeared in the David Bowie film Absolute Beginners (1986).
Although Culture didn't release any music in his later years, he remained an influential figure in British reggae, dancehall and rap. He was famous for his fast, half-spoken vocal delivery. Take a listen to career-defining hit "Police Officer" below.