Monday, July 12, 2010

Reggaeobit: Sugar Minott

The death has been announced of Sugar Minott, one of the earliest reggae acts to crossover.

Born - where else? - in Kingston, Jamaica, Lincoln Barrington Minott got involved with reggae at an early age, selecting for the Sound of Silence Keystone group before he was a teenager. He established his own sound system, Gathering Of Youth, shortly afterwards.

Sugar Minott got a further toehold in the scene as a member of the African Brothers. The band worked with names whose position in reggae history border on the religious - Coxsone Dodd, Rupie Edwards and Ronny Burke amongst them.

After he left the trio, he turned his start into a strong solo following. He spent time with Studio One, helping re-establish the label after it had seen many of its first wave depart to other outfits. Fabulously successful at home, Minott even managed a number four hit in the UK with Good Thing Going in 1981.

His Black Roots label, and Youthman production outfit brought on the next generation of Jamaican talent, while he continued to tour in his own right. He was about to release a new album in the next couple of weeks.

Sugar Minott was 54; the cause of his death has not been made public, but he had cancelled Canadian dates following chest pains earlier this year.

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