Pioneer Reggae Artist Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry Passed Away At 85
via Teach Dem / Youtube
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, legendary Jamaican singer and music producer, passed away on Sunday at the age of 85. He died at the Noel Holmes Hospital in Lucea, Jamaica. The cause of death was not immediately available. Andrew Holness, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, confirmed the news via Twitter.
“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,” he wrote. “He has worked with and produced for various artistes, including Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Congos, Adrian Sherwood, the Beastie Boys, and many others. Undoubtedly, Lee Scratch Perry will always be remembered for his sterling contribution to the music fraternity. May his soul Rest In Peace.”
Perry rose to prominence in the late ’60s and ’70s, and he became one of the most influential and prolific artists in music history.
“You could never put your finger on Lee Perry – he’s the Salvador Dali of music,” Keith Richards told Rolling Stone in a 2010 interview. “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.”
Aside from his revolutionary take on music, Perry was also known for his eccentricity.
“Being a madman is good thing!” Perry declared to Rolling Stone. “It keeps people away. When they think you are crazy, they don’t come around and take your energy, making you weak. I am the Upsetter!”
He is survived by his wife, their two children and five children from previous relationships.