On Sunday morning, the world lost one of its true mavericks and most influential musicians and performers: Lee “Scratch” Perry sadly passed away from unknown causes in a hospital in Lucea, Jamaica, at the age of 85.
Over the weekend, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holmes shared his condolences on 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.”
Perry was instrumental in the popularisation of Jamaican Soundsystem culture around the world, from his early work with reggae pioneers the Bob Marley and The Wailers to his ground-breaking studio experimentations at the origin of the “dub version”.
His lifelong commitment to the development of the dub sound further led him to win a Grammy Award for Best Album with his Jamaican E.T. in 2003. His eventful life was brought to screens in a documentary film, The Upsetter, narrated by director Benicio Del Torro in 2008.
“I love music. I adore it. So whatever you send to me that’s talking about life and the future—I’m available. Just let me know if you need dub,” said the dub scientist to Electronic Beats, true to his sheer enthusiasm for the newest forms of creation, back in 2016.
Artists from all over the world have since celebrated the unmeasurable impact of the Jamaican genius, dub and reggae pioneer who influenced everyone, from Moby to the Orb and collaborated with the greatest figures of the 20th century like Keith Richards, The Clash and the Beastie Boys.
Read some of the most outstanding tributes gathered here on Instagram.
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Published August 30, 2021.