Reggae Artist John Holt Dies at 69
Veteran reggae crooner John Holt passed away in a London hospital on Sunday (Oct. 19). The 69-year-old's manager, Copeland Forbes, confirmed the sad news to Jamaica Observer.
"John died at 2:40AM English time. His [John’s] nephew informed [us] of his death." The cause of Holt’s death has yet to be confirmed.
Holt, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, started his career as the lead singer of the Paragons in the 1960s. The rocksteady group achieved global notoriety with the song 'The Tide Is High,' which was famously covered by Blondie in the 1980s.
In 1970, Holt left the Paragons to pursue a solo career. In 1972, he recorded his biggest-selling Jamaican hit 'Stick By Me,' which was produced by Bunny Lee.
Holt's music has been sampled by several rap and reggae artists.
The horn sample featured on Jay Z's 'Encore' was lifted from Holt's sunshine-y Beatles' cover of 'I Will.' And dancehall artist Collie Buddz sampled Holt's 'Strange Things' song for his 2007 tune 'Blind to You.'
We send our heartfelt condolences to John Holt's family and friends.