Today, news has emerged that yet another music icon has sadly passed away. As reported by Complex and various other media outlets, reggae and dancehall pioneer U-Roy has passed away at the age of 78. Born born Ewart Beckford and slso known as "Daddy U-Roy "or "The Originator," the Jamaica-born DJ and artist was a prolific musician who had given fans over 20 albums throughout the span of his career.
Even with such a vast amount of material, his 1973 album Version Galore is widely regarded as his magnum opus, and the label on which it was released, Trojan Records, delivered a heartfelt statement regarding U-Roy's passing earlier this morning.
"We are very sad to announce that pioneering DJ who revolutionised the sound of Jamaican music in the early Seventies – Ewat Beckford aka U Roy has passed away at the age of 78 yesterday in Jamaica," the label said in their statement posted to Instagram. "U Roy paved the way and influenced genres worldwide with his original ‘toasting’ sound, a sound that has evolved into modern day rap. We have so much to thank U Roy for. His musical style will live on forever."
As the statement continues, Trojan Records reminisces on U-Roy's success and cultural impact by saying, "A true reggae phenomenon. Never before him, nor for a long time after him, had any artist been able to simultaneously hold the top three positions on the Jamaican charts with three consecutive singles. Even the later international fame of Bob Marley never afforded that particular ‘late great’ a comparable level of chart action."
Rest in peace, U-Roy.