JACAP board member murdered - Industry loses ‘shining star’

February 24, 2020
Dean McKellar
Dean McKellar
George Nooks
George Nooks

The music industry is now mourning the passing of Dean McKellar, lecturer, music rights analyst and board member at the Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (JACAP), who was murdered last Wednesday night.

According to reports, sometime after 9 p.m., McKellar, who hails from Paisley district in Border, St Andrew, had stopped on his way home to pick up a cylinder of gas at a shop. He was there, talking to a friends when a car drove up. McKellar, who had his back turned, was shot several times, all over the body, and his friend shot in the leg. McKellar reportedly died while being treated at hospital.

Music consultant, Teddy Laidley, whose Dumbarton office was McKellar's base, where he operated as a music data analyst, could hardly contain his grief, as he related how he heard about his friend and colleague's death. "I got a call from Roy Francis (producer and studio owner) Thursday morning to say that Dean had died, and I told him that I wasn't into the fake news thing. It was just the evening before that Dean leave the office good good, so I didn't expect anything to happen to him," Laidley said.

Get diarrhoea same time

On doing further checks, it was revealed that it was Dean. "Man, ah tell yuh, ah get diarrhoea same time," a grief-stricken Laidley shared with The STAR.

"Who coulda tell me that when him leave the office Tuesday that would be the last time I would be seeing Dean?"

McKellar, he said, dealt with royalties for artistes who needed help in navigating their way through that "maze". "He was the specialist in that area. He saw to it that they were registered and could help them to track their payments. He and I also taught a course, The Business of Music, at the Media Technology Institue. Dean joined me in 2013 when I went on tour and asked him to sit in, and we have been doing it together since," Laidley said.

The 48-year-old, who was pursuing his masters in economics and statistics, at the University of the West Indies, (UWI) would also sit in as guest lecturer for Andre Haughton.

JACAP board member Augustus 'Gussie' Clarke told The STAR that McKellar's death left a void in the industry that will be hard to fill. Dean McKellar was a shining star and one of the most respectable, humble, knowledgeable and helpful persons in our Jamaican music industry. His untimely and tragic death is a major l oss, especially in the area of intellectual property rights management. May his soul rest in peace," he said.

Singer George Nooks paid tribute to McKellar, who he remembered as being "willing, honest and educated about the music business". He said that he was broken-hearted upon hearing of the death of such a stalwart. "And is right in the middle of Reggae Month. Bwoy and just the other day Derrick Lara drop out, and now Dean. It rough," Nooks said.

The St Andrew North police are investigating.

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