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Lee 'Scratch' Perry dies at 85


Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry dies at 85: Dub and reggae pioneer who worked with Bob Marley passes away in Jamaica










Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry has died at the age of 85. 

The pioneering dub and reggae artist is said to have passed away at the Noel Holmes Hospital in Lucea, western Jamaica, according to local reports.

A cause of death has yet to be determined. 

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness confirmed the death in a statement, saying: ‘My deep condolences to the family, friends, and fans of legendary record producer and singer, Rainford Hugh Perry OD, affectionately known as ‘Lee Scratch Perry.’

Sad: Lee 'Scratch' Perry dies at 85: Dub and reggae pioneer who worked with Bob Marley passes away in Jamaica (Pictured in 2017)

Sad: Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry dies at 85: Dub and reggae pioneer who worked with Bob Marley passes away in Jamaica (Pictured in 2017)

Adding: ‘Undoubtedly, Lee Scratch Perry will always be remembered for his sterling contribution to the music fraternity. May his soul Rest In Peace.’ 

Rainford Hugh ‘Lee’ Perry was born in rural Jamaica in 1936 and moved to Kingston in the ’60s to pursue music. He is survived by wife Mireille and six children. 

Lee earned accolades as a pioneer of reggae and dub music, and helped bring the sound around the world by producing groups like the Congos and Bob Marley & the Wailers.

He also influenced numerous musicians through the years, including the Clash and the Beastie Boys. 

Through his band, The Upsetters, Perry released a slew of albums showcasing his distinct and innovative style for sampling sounds (seen in 1980)

Through his band, The Upsetters, Perry released a slew of albums showcasing his distinct and innovative style for sampling sounds (seen in 1980)

‘All three of us are all really inspired and influenced by Lee Perry’s music and production,’ Mike D said in Perry’s biography People Funny Boy. ‘

‘I think of it in terms of opening up truly infinite possibilities of sound and music, by manipulating sounds through using the mixing board and every outboard effect and every potential tape speed to achieve sounds you might have in your head, to make those a reality.” 

Through his band, The Upsetters, Perry released a slew of albums showcasing his distinct and innovative style for sampling sounds.

Perry was nominated for five Grammy awards throughout his career and won a trophy in 2003 for Best Reggae Album, Jamaican E.T. (pictured in 2018)

Perry was nominated for five Grammy awards throughout his career and won a trophy in 2003 for Best Reggae Album, Jamaican E.T. (pictured in 2018)

‘You could never put your finger on Lee Perry – he’s the Salvador Dali of music,’ Keith Richards told Rolling Stone in 2010. ‘He’s a mystery. The world is his instrument. You just have to listen. 

‘More than a producer, he knows how to inspire the artist’s soul. Like Phil Spector, he has a gift of not only hearing sounds that come from nowhere else, but also translating those sounds to the musicians. Scratch is a shaman.’ 

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Perry was nominated for five Grammy awards throughout his career and won a trophy in 2003 for Best Reggae Album, Jamaican E.T. 



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