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Dancehall Legend Sugar Minott Dies at 54

Dancehall legend Sugar Minott died from a fatal heart attack over the weekend in his native Jamaica. He was 54. Minott canceled Canadian performances two months ago after complaining of chest pains that apparently stemmed from an undisclosed heart condition.

Born Lincoln Barrington Minott, he began his musical career as a singer for the African Brothers and later branched off with a solo career that included ‘Vanity,’ ‘Herbsman Hustling,’ ‘Oh Mr DC,’ ‘No Vacancy,’ and ‘House is not a Home.’ His 1978 solo debut, ‘Live Loving,’ is considered by many to be the first dancehall album. Ironically, Minott’s biggest hit was his 1984 cover of the Jackson 5‘s ‘Good Thing Going’ which reached No. 4 on the U.K. Charts.

Through the ’80s, Minott pioneered reggae and dancehall through his own label, Black Roots and promotion company Youthman Promotions. Garnett Silk, Junior Reid, Tony Tuff, Yami Bolo and Barry Brown are among the reggae artists he worked with. Prior to his death Minott had recorded a new album, ‘New Day,’ and was scheduled to play Reggae on the River on July 18 in California.

“This is just so sudden and unexpected,” his close associate Peter Burke said of Minott’s passing. “Sugar Minott has made a major contribution to the music business … he was truly an icon and I am going to miss him tremendously.”

‘New Day’ will be released in the coming weeks.

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