While Keyboardist Michael Virtue Resigns
by M. Peggy Quattro
March 26, 2008 – Reggae’s sweet and soulful singer Maxi Priest has been invited to replace former lead singer Ali Campbell as the new vocalist for Britain’s #1 Reggae export, UB40.
The band has been touring and recording despite Campbell’s January 2008 departure, and recently concluded a successful tour with Priest in Australia in February 2008, and to sold-out crowds in the UK in December 2007.
The association with Maxi Priest, expected to form a more permanent union, has already seen Priest record with UB40 and release a single of Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff.” A source close to the band said, “The recent recording session with Maxi Priest turned out brilliantly and the band is really buzzing about the year ahead.” It should be noted that UB40 and Maxi Priest are the only two British Reggae acts to achieve #1 status on Billboard’s Top 100 chart. Continue reading →
It is reported that Michael “Mikey Dread” Campbell, aka Dread at the Controls, passed on to Zion, Sat., March 15, 2008 at 7 p.m. EST. He was surrounded by his family in the home of his sister in Connecticut at the time of his passing.
Mikey Dread was born in 1954 in Port Antonio, a lush small town on the northeastern tip of Jamaica. Mikey was an avid student who loved electronics. In 1976, after graduating from college, Mikey started out as an engineer with the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC). A collector of Reggae vinyl, Mikey wasn’t satisfied with the bland, foreign playlists that dominated the JBC radio waves, especially since the best Reggae was being recorded in their own backyard. After convincing JBC to give him his own radio program, “Dread At The Controls,” he assumed the moniker Mikey Dread, played nothing but Reggae and soon had the most popular show on JBC. Continue reading →
ZIGGY MARLEY PERFORMS WITH ANGELIQUE KIDJO AT NAACP AWARDS
by M. Peggy Quattro
A highlight of the well-produced NAACP Image Awards held Feb. 14, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA, was the tribute to actress/activist and Lifetime Achievement Award winner Ruby Dee.
Performing “Sedjedo” from her Grammy-winning CD Djin Djin, the blonde-haired Benin-born Angelique Kidjo delivered a high-spirited and powerful performance. The diminutive world-renown star was dressed in a black tuxedo-style suit while her band was dressed in traditional African attire. High-heeled boots did not deter the World Music veteran from dancing exuberantly to the drum-fueled rhythm.
Joining her on stage, and featured on her latest CD, Ziggy Marley performed flawlessly alongside the lively Kidjo. Sung in Kidjo’s native Beninese, while bouncing on the Gogbahoun riddim, the ever-smiling comfortable-in-jeans Ziggy contributed by singing the English verses, perfectly connecting the music of Jamaica with the rhythm of Africa. Continue reading →
Director Martin Scorsese set to Produce a Bob Marley Documentary
February 8, 2008 – It was reported in Variety online that famed director Martin Scorsese will team up with Steve Bing’s Shangri-La Entertainment and international sales agent Fortissimo Films to produce a yet-to-be-titled documentary about Reggae’s international super star Bob Marley.
Tuff Gong Pictures and Shangri-La are producing, and the Marley family has endorsed the film. The release date is set for Feb. 6, 2010, in honor of brother Bob’s 65th earth day.
Eldest son Ziggy was quoted as saying, “I am thrilled that the Marley family will finally have the opportunity to document our father’s legacy and are truly honored to have Mr. Scorsese guide the journey.”
The same three powerhouses teamed up to produce the Rolling Stones’ documentary “Shine a Light,” which opened the Berlin Film Festival on Feb. 7, 2008.
Breaking Up the Band: Ali Campbell Leaves UB40 after 28 Years (and UB40’s Latest Response on January 28, 2008 is Below)
This is a messsage directly from Ali Campbell’s website where he explains his reasons for leaving UB40
January 27, 2008 – As one of the founder members of UB40, I have put the band first in my life for the last 28 years and am deeply saddened at the ending of that relationship. No words can express how upset I feel today that I have been forced to make this decision.
I am perhaps most upset on behalf of the fans, who have stuck with us, through thick and thin, throughout the years and are the best fans in the world. However, I feel that it is important for me to put the record straight on my reasons for leaving the band.
Contrary to some of the misleading, false information and accusations that have been circulating in recent months, the reason for my forthcoming departure from the band is NOT, as has been stated, due to my wanting to pursue a solo career. That is not the truth!! I released my first solo album 13 years ago and when I released my current solo album I had every intention to continuing to balance my solo career with my commitment to the band.
The reason for me leaving the band is that management difficulties, which have been ongoing for almost 5 years, had become intolerable. Continue reading →
By Kevin Jackson, Observer Writer
Taken from the Jamaica Observer, Kingston 2008
Sean Kingston’s debut self-titled album has to date sold more than seven million copies worldwide. Discovered on the popular social networking site, MySpace, Kingston has become a force to be reckoned with since his debut outing was released in July of 2007 via Epic Records.
In a just five months, Kingston has accrued more than seven million worldwide sales of ringtones, ringbacks, singles and albums in physical and digital sales for songs including his global chart topping single “Beautiful Girls.” That song went to number one in 21 countries around the world. His second hit “Me Love” was also a gold-certified hit. His latest top ten hit “Take You There” has also gone gold. That single is currently number ten on the Billboard Hot 100. Additionally, Sean is featured on Natasha Bedingfield’s latest hit “Love Like This.” Continue reading →
What follows below is the first announcement made on ReggaeReport.com. It was posted approx. 3 a.m. EST, after hearing the terrible news from our good friend, Lee Abel, who just happened to come across the news while on the internet. In the days that followed, the story – and our sadness – grew. There were men caught and arrested, a public memorial was held in Johannesburg, and Lucky was laid to rest in his homeland, the rural country that he loved, Natal. I will work to add more words here, as my friend’s story is one that needs to be told. Like one of his musician’s was quoted saying, “if Lucky Dube is not safe, none of us are safe.” Thank you for your patience.
September 19, 2007 – Miami, FL
Lucky Dube – Shot and Killed in Johannesburg Street Attack
By M. Peggy Quattro
It is with great sadness and pain that we report that South African Reggae star Lucky Dube was shot and killed in a Johannesburg suburb street attack late Thursday, police said.
The 43-year-old singer had dropped of his 15-year-old-son son at a family member’s house, and his 16-year-old daughter was in the car with him, in the Rosettenville district of Johannesburg, when he was approached by two or three youths in an apparent car-jacking. Lucky sped up to get away and was shot reportedly three times. He crashed into a tree and died on the scene. Continue reading →