DEAD AT 78 ...Prince Buster remembered as true music legend

September 09, 2016
Prince Buster
Prince Buster

Tributes have been pouring in for the late Prince Buster after news emerged that the legendary Jamaican ska singer, songwriter, record producer, and sound system operator of the 1960s is dead.

Born Cecil Eustace Campbell, on May 24, 1938, Prince Buster passed away yesterday morning. He was 78 years old.

The singer's widow, Mola Ali, said Prince Buster died of health complications in Miami, Florida.

Ali told THE WEEKEND STAR that since her husband's passing, she has received an outpouring of support from the entertainment fraternity, and expressed her appreciation for the love that she and her family have been receiving.

Among those to pay tribute were BBC 1Xtra's David Rodigan, and curator of the Jamaica Music Museum, Herbie Miller.

"Prince Buster wasn't just a ska pioneer, he also produced one of Jamaica's first-ever dub albums The Message," Rodigan said via his Twitter account said in one post.

He described Prince Buster as a "music icon and pioneer" as well as "a true music legend".

David Hinds, of the legendary reggae band Steel Pulse, said that there was no home in the black community that was without the music of Prince Buster in post-war Britain.

"He shall be missed by those who were hypnotised by his artistry during that era," Hinds said in a Facebook post.

He noted that many of Prince Buster's songs impacted people's lives, pointing for example at Black Head Chiniman, Enjoy Yourself, Judge Dread, Hard Man Fi Dead, and Rough Rider.


largely responsible


Herbie Miller said the singer played an important role in the development of Jamaican popular music.

"We tend to take for granted the importance of Prince Buster's contribution to Jamaican music and its development, but he was largely responsible for bringing the music to where it is today," he said.

"The way he envisioned the form he did not turn to a style of American R&B or jump blues like the other producers. Buster effectively utilised Pentecostal shouts, stomping and grunts as well as African, Rastafarian-inspired nyabinghi drumming to produce songs like Oh Carolina," Miller said.

"His legacy is substantiated by the classic instrumentals he produced, among them, Raymond Harper's Mighty Like A Rose, and African Blood as well as Don Drummond's Downbeat Burial."

Prince Buster was in 2001 conferred with the Order of Distinction for his hard work and dedication to the development of the country's musical legacy.

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