R.I.P. "The Tide Is High" Reggae Hero John Holt
Published Oct 20, 2014John Holt, a reggae singer whose career dates back to the '60s, has died. According to various media reports, he was 69 years old, though Wikipedia lists his age as 67.
The musician passed away on Sunday (October 19) in hospital in London. A cause of death has not been announced, but Holt's manager Copeland Forbes told the Jamaica Observer [via the Guardian] the news after being informed by the singer's nephew.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Holt rose to prominence as a vocalist with rocksteady outfit the Paragons, and he penned their song "The Tide Is High." This became a chart-topping hit in 1980 when it was covered by Blondie. It also became a hit for British pop group Atomic Kitten in 2002, and Kardinal Offishall did a version with Rihanna.
Starting in the '70s, Holt went on to have a long-running solo career and was, for a time, one of the genre's biggest stars. He was closely associated with the slow, romantic sub-genre known as lovers rock, but his output slowed in the last couple of decades of his life.
Below, revisit the original version of "The Tide Is High."