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Dennis Brown

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  • Born: Kingston, Jamaica
  • Died: Kingston, Jamaica
  • Years Active: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s
  • Dennis Brown

  • Dennis Brown



Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

One of Jamaica's most beloved and prolific artists, the late Dennis Brown has left behind a slew of classic songs and myriad hits, a rich musical legacy born of a career that spanned over 30 years. Born Dennis Emmanuel Brown in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1957, his childhood home virtually destined him to a future in the music industry. He grew up on Orange Street, the heart of the island's music scene, with most of the major recording studios a mere stone's throw away. As the stars and future hitmakers paraded by day and music pumped out of the studios, the child could not help but be entranced. It was truly serendipitous that Brown himself had a voice that would set the studios ablaze. It didn't take long for the producers to discover his talent and by the time he was 11, the youngster had a first hit to his name, with a cover of the Impressions' "No Man Is an Island." It was the beginning of a successful, but not exclusive, partnership (Brown also scored with "If I Had the World" for producer Prince Buster). However, Dodd was responsible for Brown's debut album, 1970's No Man Is an Island, and its follow-up the next year, If I Follow My Heart.

Now entering his teens, the singer was ready to start making the studio rounds on a regular basis, cutting songs with a clutch of different producers. The album Super Reggae & Soul Hits gathers some of his work during this period and features a mix of superb, if lightweight, covers alongside a number of self-penned classics, all cut with producer Derrick Harriott. 1975's Best Of gathered a similar selection of material recorded for Joe Gibbs earlier in the decade. In 1972, the 16-year-old entered Gibbs' Duhaney Park studio and recorded the song that later established his international reputation, "Money in My Pocket." However, it wasn't Gibbs himself who oversaw this session, but a young engineer/producer who had replaced the recently departed Lee Perry. Twenty-year-old Niney "the Observer" Holness had stunned the island two years earlier with his seminal "Blood & Fire" single, a roots classic. Now he was presented with a teenager best known for his sweet ballads and silky lovers cuts. Regardless, the two young men immediately clicked and by 1973, Brown was recording exclusively with Holness. Their work together virtually defies belief, as hits rained from the sky and the pair redefined the roots genre in their own image.

Perhaps it was simply a matter of timing as the teen was determined to leave his youthful balladeer image behind, and Holness was offering the perfect opportunity to present himself in a more mature light. The young producer was seeking a singer to help bring his own musical vision to fruition and Brown was malleable enough to make that happen. Or perhaps it was just fate. In any event, over the next two years, Jamaica was rocked by a stream of seminal songs, all released via Holness' own Observer label. The haunting "Westbound Train," the powerfully emotive "Cassandra," the evocative "Africa" -- the list goes on and on. Many of these were bundled up, along with a few unreleased songs, on 1975's Just Dennis album. Brown cut his last song, "Tribulation," with Holness that same year. At this point, Brown's reputation was established; an awed Bob Marley was even ecstatically calling him the best reggae singer in the world. Brown's own songwriting was now razor-sharp, and whether taking on cultural themes or lovers' concerns, his lyrics and delivery were always emotionally potent. Now he was ready to strike out on his own -- or so he thought. Over the next year, the teen sensation made the studio rounds, recording a handful of songs for the likes of Phil Pratt and Sydney Crooks. But it was evident something was missing and by the end of the year, Brown had returned to Holness' side. The pair began recording again early in 1977 and their chemistry was still as strong as ever. The 1978 album Wolf & Leopard, titled after one of their hits, compiles most of the seminal string of singles the two men unleashed, including such masterpieces as the poignant "Here I Come" and the title-track.

The Heartbeat label has helpfully compiled all of the pair's work across two albums -- Some Like It Hot and Open the Gate -- while Cleopatra's two-disc The Golden Years: 1974-1976 draws heavily from this material (into 1977, regardless of the title). In 1978, the 21-year-old singer was now determined to stand on his own and set up his own label, DEB. Although it folded the following year, during that time Brown released a clutch of his own singles, as well as those by other artists, and a number of albums. The latter include his own excellent So Long Jah Rastafari and Joseph's Coat of Many Colours. Although the latter was produced by Gibbs and Errol Thompson, Brown himself was now also moving into production, and his work behind the board is featured on a number of DEB releases. It really was a stellar year, with the singer also one of the highlights of the One Love Peace Concert that year, as well as being one of the major draws at the first-ever Reggae Sunsplash. Upon DEB's closure, Brown again began the studio rounds, cutting singles for a wide variety of producers, including Bunny Lee, Ted Dawkins, and Ossie Hibbert. And Joe Gibbs, of course, with whom he had continued recording even during DEB's lifetime. 1978's Visions of Dennis Brown contained some of the fruits of their labor, and unusually, many of the album's strongest tracks never graced a 45, helping to push the sales of this stunning record even higher. The following year, a resurrected "Money in My Pocket" gave the pair a mega-hit and spawned the Words of Wisdom album, which also boasted the classic "Ain't That Loving You."

By 1979, Brown was already a legend, even though he'd barely reached adulthood. In addition to his work with Holness, he had a virtual shop's worth of successful singles to his credit: "Man Next Door," "Cup of Tea," "Equal Rights," "How Can I Leave," "Funny Feeling" (a duet with DJ Trinity), and many more. And the hits just kept coming. Unbelievably, it took until 1981 and interest spurred by that year's Gibb-produced Spellbound album for a major label to finally show serious interest, and Brown finally inked a deal with A&M. By this point, the singer had emigrated to London and it was there where he recorded his next two albums: Foul Play and Love Has Found a Way. But perhaps the move abroad was unwise, for although Foul Play in particular contained some classic roots, Brown seemed to be losing touch with his audience. The Prophet Rides Again did little to change this situation, with the vinyl's A-side pushing into instantly forgettable light R&B.

Inevitably, perhaps, it spelled the end of Brown's deal with A&M and the demise of his relationship with Gibbs. Back in Jamaica, however, the island had given roots the heave-ho in favor of the exuberance of DJs. Brown had already stuck a toe into these fresh waters back in 1979 when he had recorded a duet with Trinity. Now the singer would wade back in, first as a contributor to DJ Brigadier Jerry's 1983 album Live at the Controls at Jack Ruby Sound Ocho Rios J.A., and then alongside a similarly intrigued Gregory Isaacs for the Prince Jammy-produced Two Bad Superstars Meet. The success of that record demanded a follow-up and in 1985, Judge Not duly arrived to further acclaim. During this time, Brown also cut singles with the likes of Gussie Clarke, Sly & Robbie, and Starlight Productions, all on the cutting edge of the new scene. Meanwhile, the rise of DJs had prompted a group of veteran vocalists to join forces and retaliate with truckloads of their own releases. Brown, Gregory Isaacs, and John Holt were among the leading co-conspirators. It was a clever plan, based on the theory that DJs were only succeeding because there wasn't enough fresh vocal material in the market. Now the market would be flooded, with the vocalists each releasing around six albums a year and as many singles as they physically could. Compared to Isaacs (estimated to have released over 400 albums and counting), Brown was pretty lax, releasing a mere 100 or so full-lengths and over 200 compilations. Many came from his own new label, Yvonne's Special (named in honor of his wife), but the singer also cut records for just about every label who would let him. The flaw in this plan was that quantity took precedence over quality, and fans should choose carefully from among the clutter. However, Brown continued to release much material of note throughout the rest of the '80s, as well as continuing his chart success with a string of seminal singles.

1985's Prince Jammy-produced Slow Down and its follow-up, The Exit, are both classic albums recorded at the beginning of the digital age and showcase the singer's vociferous talent across cultural themes and into the passion of lovers, all cut through with a simmering dance beat. Co-producing with Trevor Bow, that same year Brown also offered up the much rootsier Wake Up. The following year's Brown Sugar, released by Sly & Robbie's Taxi label, compiles seven superb hits (and three 12" remixes) from this period. 1986 also saw the release of a collaborative album with Horace Andy, Reggae Superstars Meet, bringing together two of the most beautiful voices in reggae's history. The decade was seen out by the mega-hit "Big All Round," a duet with Gregory Isaacs that was produced by Gussie Clarke, which helped spur the trio to record the full-length No Contest, again boasting both solo tracks and duets. Clarke helped Brown inaugurate the new decade with the stellar Unchallenged album, which boasts a fiery guest appearance by Mutabaruka and the sweet vocals of Beres Hammond.

Across the decade some of the artist's most intriguing work was in collaboration with other artists. 1991's One Man One Vote, a recording by an artist's collective led by Mikey Bennett, found Brown singing alongside Cocoa Tea and Third World's Bunny Clarke. That same year, he recorded the excellent Victory Is Mine album, cut with producer Leggo Beast. Brown reunited with Tea and, joined by Freddie McGregor, recorded the Legit album, which boasted solo cuts as well as trio numbers. But there was also a series of truly disposable albums, notably 1993's abysmal General, a whole album of MOR covers done MOR style. Yet that same year, the singer reunited with Holness for Cosmic Forces, a crucial record powered by Sly & Robbie's rhythms in a deeply rootsy, totally dancehall mode. The Riddim Twins were also featured on the following year's Light My Fire, which, while not quite as innovative as Forces, is essential as one of the final recordings by the classic lineup of the Roots Radics. 1994 also was graced by Nothing Like This, which was co-produced by Brown and Junior Reid. And amidst this flood, Brown was continuing to provide the dulcet singing to complement DJ's toasts.

Back in 1991, the singer had stormed the dancehalls in the company of Twist, Brian, and Tony Gold. The next year, Brown's otherwise mediocre Blazing album was set alight by a version of "Fever," a duet with Maxi Priest that also featured the gruff tones of Shabba Ranks. Then, in 1994, Brown recorded a full collaborative album with Beenie Man and Triston Palma: Three Against War. The singer also cut singles with a host of other hot DJs during this period, among them Bounty Killer, Tiger, and Fabiana, joining forces with Roger Robin, Peter Hunningale, and Saxon later in the decade. At the same time, Brown's success as a soloist also continued unabated across a further string of hits. 1994 saw the release of the Flabba Holt-produced Blood Brothers and its follow-up, the far superior Milk and Honey. (The RAS label's May Your Food Basket Never Empty fills up a CD of Brown's recordings with Holt.) Equally entertaining was another reunion with Holness, 1996's Dennis, while producer Musclehead bundled up a batch of hits for You Got the Best of Me that same year and tossed in some new intriguing versions of old classics to boot. As the decade deepened, the artist's output continued unabated -- singles and albums flew out of the studios in breakneck fashion. These include: Tribulation (produced by Alvin Ranglin), Hold Tight, Bless Me Jah, the Gussie Clarke-overseen Stone Cold World, and a clutch of albums all claiming to be Brown's last.

Perhaps it was to maintain this output that Brown first started using cocaine. Addiction eventually followed, and with it inevitable bodily ravages. Still, few expected it to end in his death. But on July 1, 1999, the unconscious singer was rushed to a Kingston hospital with a collapsed lung. This is not usually a fatal condition, but Brown was so weakened from drug use that he expired on the table. Jamaica had lost one of her greatest stars. Brown's legacy, however, was in no danger as new compilations, best-of collections, and reissues continued to appear regularly.


For other people named Dennis Brown, see Dennis Brown (disambiguation).

Dennis Emmanuel Brown CD (1 February 1957 – 1 July 1999) was a Jamaican reggae singer. During his prolific career, which began in the late 1960s when he was aged eleven, he recorded more than 75 albums and was one of the major stars of lovers rock, a subgenre of reggae. Bob Marley cited Brown as his favourite singer, dubbing him "The Crown Prince of Reggae", and Brown would prove influential on future generations of reggae singers.

^ Dennis Brown ReggaeTrain.com, accessed 3 December 2007.^ Thompson (2002), p. 43.^ Adebayo (1999).


Biography1.1 Early life and career1.2 International success1.3 A&M and the dancehall era1.4 Death


Early life and career[edit]

Dennis Brown was born on 1 February 1957 at Jubilee Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica. His father Arthur was a scriptwriter, actor, and journalist, and he grew up in a large tenement yard between North Street and King Street in Kingston with his parents, three elder brothers and a sister, although his mother died in the 1960s. He began his singing career at the age of nine, while still at junior school, with an end-of-term concert the first time he performed in public, although he had been keen on music from an even earlier age, and as a youngster was a keen fan of American balladeers such as Brook Benton, Sam Cooke, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin. He cited Nat King Cole as one of his greatest early influences. He regularly hung around JJ's record store on Orange Street in the rocksteady era and his relatives and neighbours would often throw Brown pennies to hear him sing in their yard. Brown's first professional appearance came at the age of eleven, when he visited a local club where his brother Basil was performing a comedy routine, and where he made a guest appearance with the club's resident group, the Fabulous Falcons (a group that included Cynthia Richards, David "Scotty" Scott, and Noel Brown). On the strength of this performance he was asked to join the group as a featured vocalist. When the group performed at a JLP conference at the National Arena, Brown sang two songs - Desmond Dekker's "Unity" and Johnnie Taylor's "Ain't That Loving You" - and after the audience showered the stage with money, he was able to buy his first suit with the proceeds. Bandleader Byron Lee performed on the same bill, and was sufficiently impressed with Brown to book him to perform on package shows featuring visiting US artists, where he was billed as the "Boy Wonder".

As a young singer Brown was influenced by older contemporaries such as Delroy Wilson (whom he later cited as the single greatest influence on his style of singing), Errol Dunkley, John Holt, Ken Boothe, and Bob Andy. Brown's first recording was an original song called "Lips of Wine" for producer Derrick Harriott, but when this was not released, he recorded for Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's Studio One label, and his first session yielded the single "No Man is an Island", recorded when Brown was aged twelve and released in late 1969. The single received steadily increasing airplay for almost a year before becoming a huge hit throughout Jamaica. Brown recorded up to a dozen sessions for Dodd, amounting to around thirty songs, and also worked as a backing singer on sessions by other artists, including providing harmonies along with Horace Andy and Larry Marshall on Alton Ellis's Sunday Coming album. Brown was advised by fellow Studio One artist Ellis to learn guitar to help with his songwriting, and after convincing Dodd to buy him an instrument, was taught the basics by Ellis. These Studio One recordings were collected on two albums, No Man is an Island and If I Follow my Heart (the title track penned by Alton Ellis), although Brown had left Studio One before either was released. He went on to record for several producers including Lloyd Daley ("Baby Don't Do It" and "Things in Life"), Prince Buster ("One Day Soon" and "If I Had the World"), and Phil Pratt ("Black Magic Woman", "Let Love In", and "What About the Half"), before returning to work with Derrick Harriott, recording a string of popular singles including "Silhouettes", "Concentration", "He Can't Spell", and "Musical Heatwave", with the pick of these tracks collected on the Super Reggae and Soul Hits album in 1973. Brown also recorded for Vincent "Randy" Chin ("Cheater"), Dennis Alcapone ("I Was Lonely"), and Herman Chin Loy ("It's Too Late" and "Song My Mother Used to Sing") among others, with Brown still at school at this stage of his career.

International success[edit]

In 1972, Brown began an association that would result in his breakthrough as an internationally successful artist; He was asked by Joe Gibbs to record an album for him, and one of the tracks recorded as a result, "Money in my Pocket", was a hit with UK reggae audiences and quickly became a favourite of his live performances. This original version of "Money in my Pocket" was in fact produced by Winston "Niney" Holness on behalf of Gibbs, with musical backing from the Soul Syndicate. In the same year, Brown performed as part of a Christmas morning showcase in Toronto, Canada, along with Delroy Wilson, Scotty, Errol Dunkley, and the Fabulous Flames, where he was billed as the "Boy Wonder of Jamaica" and was considered the star of the show in a local newspaper review. The song's popularity in the UK was further cemented with the release a deejay version, "A-So We Stay (Money in Hand)", credited to Big Youth and Dennis Brown, which outsold the original single and topped the Jamaican singles chart. Brown and Holness became close, even sharing a house in Pembroke Hall. Brown followed this with another collaboration with Holness on "Westbound Train", which was the biggest Jamaican hit of summer 1973, and Brown's star status was confirmed when he was voted Jamaica's top male vocalist in a poll by Swing magazine the same year. Brown followed this success with "Cassandra" and "No More Will I Roam", and tracks such as "Africa" and "Love Jah", displaying Brown's Rastafari beliefs, became staples on London's sound system scene. In 1973, Brown was hospitalized due to fatigue caused by overwork, although at the time rumours spread that he only had one lung and had only a week to live, or had contracted tuberculosis. He was advised to take an extended break from performing and concentrated instead on his college studies.

Brown returned to music and toured the United Kingdom for the first time in late summer 1974 as part of a Jamaican showcase, along with Cynthia Richards, Al Brown, Sharon Forrester, and The Maytals, after which he was invited to stay on for further dates (where he was backed by The Cimarons, staying in the UK for another three months. While in the UK, he recorded for the first time since his hospitalization, working with producer Sydney Crooks, and again backed by the Cimarons. While Brown was in the UK, Gibbs released an album collecting recordings made earlier in Jamaica, released as The Best of Dennis Brown, and Brown's first single to get a proper UK release was issued on the Synda label - "No More Will I Roam". He returned to Jamaica for Christmas, but six weeks later was back in the UK, now with Holness in tow as his business manager, to negotiate a record deal with Trojan Records, the first Brown album to be released as a result being Just Dennis, although the pair would be left out of pocket after Trojan's collapse and subsequent buyout by Saga Records. On their return to Jamaica, Brown and Holness resumed recording in earnest with tracks for a new album, including "So Long Rastafari", "Boasting", and "Open the Gate". During 1975, Brown also recorded one-off sessions for Sonia Pottinger ("If You leave Me") and Bunny Lee ("So Much Pain", a duet with Johnny Clarke), and the first recordings began to appear on Brown's new DEB Music label. In the wake of the Trojan collapse, Brown and Holness arranged a deal with local independent label owners Castro Brown (who ran Morpheus Records) and Larry Lawrence (Ethnic Fight) to distribute their releases in the UK. Brown saw the UK as the most important market to target and performed for five consecutive nights at the Georgian Club in Croydon to raise funds to start his new DEB Music label with Castro Brown. In early 1976, Castro secured a deal with Radio London disc jockey Charlie Gillett for Morpheus (and hence DEB) output to be issued through the latter's Oval Records, which had a distribution deal with Virgin Records, but after a dispute over Castro's separate supply of these records to London record shops, the deal was scrapped and the early DEB releases suffered from a lack of promotion. Later that year, Brown voiced two tracks at Lee "Scratch" Perry's Black Ark studio, "Take a Trip to Zion" and "Wolf and Leopard", the latter of which was a hit in Jamaica and would prove to be one of Brown's most popular songs, with a lyric criticizing those criminals who "rode the natty dread bandwagon". Brown confirmed in an interview in Black Echoes that he had parted company with Holness, stating: "I was going along with one man's ideas for too long. Niney was trying to find a new beat at all times, which was disconcerting, so I hadn't been working with my true abilities. Now I know that I can produce myself."

Brown began working again with Joe Gibbs, with an agreement that in return for studio time for his own productions, Brown would allow Gibbs use of any rhythm recorded in the process. The first album from this arrangement, the 1977 release Visions of Dennis Brown, gave him his biggest success so far, blending conscious themes and love songs, and confirming Brown's transformation from child star to grown up artist. The biblical-themed sleeve and portrait of Haile Selassie on the back complemented the roots reggae tracks on the album, including "Repatriation", "Jah Can Do it", and cover versions of Earl 16's "Malcolm X" and Clive Hunt's "Milk and Honey". The album immediately entered the Black Echoes chart and stayed there well into the following year, although it was only available in the UK as an expensive import. Visions... was voted reggae album of the year by Melody Maker writers and was given the same award by readers of Black Echoes. A reissued "Wolf and Leopard" single, and the eventual album release of the same name also sold well in the UK, both topping the Black Echoes chart.

Brown toured the UK in Autumn 1977 with Big Youth, and described the tour: "It's like I was appointed to deliver certain messages and now is the time to deliver them". He had also begun producing recordings by his protege, Junior Delgado. In 1978, Brown moved to live in London, and set up premises in Battersea Rise, near Clapham Junction to relaunch the DEB Music label with Castro Brown, with artists featured on the label including Junior Delgado, 15.16.17, Bob Andy, Lennox Brown, and later, Gregory Isaacs. Brown had further success himself with a discomix of "How Could I Leave You", a version of The Sharks' rocksteady standard "How Could I Live" with accompanying toast by Prince Mohamed. In March 1978, Brown flew to Jamaica, where he was booked at the last minute to perform at the One Love Peace Concert at the National Arena, backed by Lloyd Parks' We The People Band. Visions of Dennis Brown was given a wider distribution via a deal between Lightning Records and WEA and topped the UK reggae album chart in September 1978, this chart run lasting for five months. In August 1978, Brown returned to the UK, bringing Junior Delgado with him, and DEB Music released a series of singles, although they sold moderately compared to the label's earlier successes, but in the same month, Brown's breakthrough single was first released. Initially released as a discomix featuring a new version of "Money in my Pocket" and the deejay version "Cool Runnings" by Price Mohamed, which became unavailable for a time after quickly selling out its first pressing, this single gave Brown his first UK Top 40 hit, reaching number 14 the following year and becoming one of the biggest international hits in Jamaica's history, after crossing over first into soul clubs and then rock clubs. This success led to Brown featuring on the cover of the NME in February 1979.

Brown's next two albums were both released on DEB - So Long Rastafari and Joseph's Coat of Many Colours, although the label was closed down in 1979, after which Brown again did the rounds of Jamaica's top producers, as well as continuing self-productions with singles such as "The Little Village" and "Do I Worry?" in 1981.

A&M and the dancehall era[edit]

With continuing commercial success, Brown signed an international deal with A&M Records in 1981, and now based permanently in the UK, his first album release for the label was the Gibbs-produced Foul Play, which while not wholly a success included the roots tracks "The Existence of Jah" and "The World is Troubled". This was followed in 1982 by Love Has Found its Way, a Gibbs/Brown/Willie Lindo production that blended lovers rock with a more pop sound, and again was not a great success. His final album with the label, 1983's The Prophet Rides Again again mixed roots themes with commercial R&B style tracks, and proved to be his swansong with the label. While his association with A&M had taken him in a more commercial pop direction, Kingston's music scene had shifted towards the new dancehall era, and Brown enthusiastically adapted to the new sound, recording for some of the genre's major producers including Prince Jammy and Gussie Clarke. In the early 1980s he also started a new label, Yvonne's Special, dedicated to his wife. In 1984, he collaborated with Gregory Isaacs on the album Two Bad Superstars Meet and the hit single "Let aaf Sum'n", recorded with Sly & Robbie and Jammy, which was followed by a second album featuring the two stars, Judge Not, in 1985. Brown released a huge amount of work through the 1980s, including the 1986 Jammy-produced album The Exit, but his biggest success of the decade came in 1989 with the Gussie Clarke-produced duet with Isaacs "Big All Round", and the album Unchallenged. He continued to record prolifically in the 1990s, notably on the Three Against War album in 1995 with Beenie Man and Triston Palma, and on albums produced by Mikey Bennett, and his profile in the United States was raised by a series of album releases on RAS Records. In the late 1990s he was managed by Tommy Cowan, who contrasted Brown to Bob Marley, who he had also managed, stating "Bob Marley was a serious businessman, I don't think Dennis was as serious when it came to investment. Dennis was like a community person, he would earn money and in one hour he would give it away." Brown said of his approach to songwriting in the late 1990s:

"When I write a song I try to follow Joseph's way - deliverance through vision from all - true vibration. I want to be a shepherd in my work, teaching and learning, really singing so much. I don't want to sing and not live it. I must live it. If I can sing songs that people can watch me living, then they can take my work"

Brown's 1994 album Light My Fire was nominated for a Grammy Award, as was the last album recorded by Brown, Let Me Be the One (in 2001).


In the late 1990s, Brown's health began to deteriorate. He had developed respiratory issues, probably exacerbated by longstanding problems with drug addiction, namely cocaine, leading to him being taken ill in May 1999 after touring in Brazil with other reggae singers, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. After returning to Kingston, Jamaica, on the evening of 30 June 1999, he was rushed to Kingston's University Hospital, suffering from cardiac arrest. Brown died the next day, the official cause of his death was a collapsed lung. Sitting Jamaican Prime Minister P. J. Patterson and former prime minister, serving at the time as opposition leader, Edward Seaga of the Jamaica Labour Party both spoke at Brown's funeral, which was held on 17 July 1999 in Kingston. The service, which lasted for three hours, also featured live performances by Maxi Priest, Shaggy, and three of Brown's sons. Brown was then buried at Kingston's National Heroes Park. Brown was survived by his wife Yvonne and ten children. Prime Minister Patterson paid tribute to Brown, saying: "Over the years, Dennis Brown has distinguished himself as one of the finest and most talented musicians of our time. The Crown Prince of Reggae as he was commonly called. He has left us with a vast repertoire of songs which will continue to satisfy the hearts and minds of us all for generations to come."

^ Reel (2000), p. 9.^ Simmonds (2008), p. 416.^ Walker (2006), p. 214.^ Reel (2000), p. 10.^ Foster (1999), p. 244.^ Reel, p. 12.^ Reel, p. 13.^ Reel, p. 17.^ Reel, p. 19.^ Reel, p. 20.^ Reel, p. 23.^ Reel, p. 25.^ Reel, p. 27.^ Reel, p. 28.^ Reel, p. 30.^ Reel, p. 31.^ Reel, p. 33.^ Reel, p. 35^ Reel, p. 39^ Reel, p. 44.^ Reel, p. 45^ Reel, p. 55.^ Reel, p. 57.^ Reel, p. 60.^ Reel, p. 66.^ Reel, p. 69.^ Reel, p. 81.^ Reel, p. 84.^ Roberts (2006), p. 81.^ Thompson, p. 44.^ Reel, p. 88.^ Thompson, p. 45.^ Thompson, p. 47.^ Foster, p. 246.^ Thompson, p. 46.^ Cite error: The named reference Campbell was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Chang & Chen (1998), p. 152.^ Moskowitz (2006), p. 43.^ Kenner (2001).^ Salewicz (1999)^ Cooksey, MusicianGuide.^ Greene, Allmusic.^ Salewicz (1999).^ Doran (1999).^ VH1^ Cite error: The named reference Adebayo was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Jamaica Gleaner, 2 July 1999.


Dennis Brown was an inspiration and influence for many reggae singers from the late 1970s through to the 2000s, including Barrington Levy, Junior Reid, Frankie Paul, Luciano, Bushman, and Richie Stephens. In July 1999, a group of UK-based musicians and more than fifty vocalists working under the collective name The British Reggae All Stars (including Mafia & Fluxy, Carlton "Bubblers" Ogilvie, Peter Hunnigale, Louisa Mark, Nerious Joseph, and Sylvia Tella) recorded "Tribute Song", a medley of six of Brown's best-known songs, in memory of Brown.

He was honoured on the first anniversary of his death by a memorial concert in Brooklyn, which featured performances from Johnny Osbourne, Micky Jarrett, Delano Tucker, and Half Pint. In 2001, a charitable trust was set up in Brown's name. The Dennis Emanuel Brown Trust works to educate youngsters, maintain and advance the memory of Dennis Brown, and help to provide youngsters with musical instruments. The trust awards the Dennis Emanuel Brown (DEB) bursary for educational achievement each year to students between the ages of 10 and 12 years. In 2005, George Nooks, who had worked with Brown in the mid-1970s in his deejay guise as Prince Mohamed, released an album of Brown covers, George Nooks Sings Dennis Brown: The Voice Lives On, with Nooks stating: "I was always inspired by his talent and I used to sing like him. Dennis had a whole heap of influence on me. To me he was the greatest. He was my number one singer." In the same year, Gregory Isaacs paid a similar tribute with the album Gregory Isaacs Sings Dennis Brown. In February 2007, a series of events were staged in Jamaica in celebration of the lives of both Brown and Marley (both would have had birthdays that month). In 2008, the Dennis Brown Trust announced a new internet radio station, dedicated solely to the music of Dennis Brown, and in the same month a tribute concert was staged by the Jamaican Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates (JAVAA) featuring Dwight Pinkney, Derrick Harriott, Sugar Minott, George Nooks, and John Holt.

Songs about or dedicated to Brown include "Song for Dennis Brown" by The Mountain Goats, "If This World Were Mine" by Slightly Stoopid, "Drive" by Pepper (band), and Whitney Houston's "Whitney Houston Dub Plate" on The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book album by Wyclef Jean.

On 26 April 2010, Brown was featured on NPR Morning Edition news program as one of the "50 Great Voices - The stories of awe-inspiring voices from around the world and across time". The NPR "50 Great Voices" list includes Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson and Jackie Wilson among others.

On 6 August 2011, being the 49th anniversary of the country's independence, the Governor-General of Jamaica posthumously conferred the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD) upon Brown, for his contribution to the Jamaican music industry.

In April 2012, a commemorative blue plaque was placed on Brown's home in Harlesden.

^ Campbell, 2009.^ Cite error: The named reference Thompson46 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Walters (2005).^ Jackson (2005).^ Evans (2007).^ Walters (2008)^ Cooke (2008).^ Johnson, 2010.^ "Dennis Brown, Millie Small & Dobby Dobson Get National Awards". Dancehall.mobi. Retrieved 23 September 2011. ^ Campbell, Howard (2012), "D Brown's UK home gets blue plaque", Jamaica Observer, 25 April 2012, retrieved 2012-04-29.
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