Published Mar 18, 2008The global dub massive mourns the passing of producer and vocalist Mikey Dread, who died six months after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. He was 54.
Dread, born Michael Campbell in Port Antonio, Jamaica, rose to fame in the mid-'70s as the host of Dread At The Controls, an overnight radio show on the JBC radio. This show was the first to focus on reggae music on Jamaican radio. Dread At The Controls was a freestyle mix of music, jingles, exclusive dub plates, and Dreads inimitable vocals.
Many of the jingles from this show were included on Dreads album African Anthem from 1978, and continue to be sampled in hip-hop.
He moved into music production full-time and soon traveled to England, to go on and co-produce the Clashs "Bank Robber single and Sandanista! album in 1980, as well as work with Adrian Sherwoods On-U Sound collective. While in the UK, he narrated a six-part series about Jamaican culture for the BBC called Deep Roots Music, which has just been reissued on DVD.
Dread's albums from that period - Beyond World War 3 (1981) and Pave The Way (1984) - represent some of the eras best dub reggae.
Over the last two decades, Dreads records and tours remained popular. He also worked with other artists such as Izzy Stradlin of Guns 'N Roses.
Mikey Dread is survived by his wife Monika and six children.
Mikey Dread "Natural Roots"