The man who is regarded as the first king of dancehall, Ewart Beckford aka Daddy U-Roy was finally buried on Wednesday after passing away in February at age 78. Due to COVID-19 protocols a private funeral service was held, it had only a hand full of people, something his daughter was not pleased with, however, she did acknowledge that the protocols are for the greater good of all.
U Roy was laid to rest at the Dovecot Memorial Park, located in St. Catherine. Check out the private service proceeding below.
Beckford was born in Kingston, he is credited with making the art of toasting popular, on reggae rhythms in the early days of dancehall when the sound system ruled.
During the heyday of Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd’s Studio One sound system and record label U Roy burst onto the scene. At a period when reggae music and it’s offspring dancehall that is now famous was frowned upon by the society, they were seen as the music of the uncultured and uneducated.
His huge hits such as ‘Wake The Town’ and ‘Wear You To The Ball’ that featured John Holt, were huge hits and he followed with many other chart toppers such as ‘Chalice In The Palace’ , ‘Creation Rebel’, and ‘Dread inna Babylon’.
U Roy also got credit for opening the door and allowed rap and dancehall artistes to get huge profits from the idiom he, Count Machukie and King Stitt, both created and perfected. He also owned the Stur Gav sound system which shaped the careers of veteran deejays Super Cat, Charlie Chaplin and Josey Wales among others.
The pop group Blondie had a world-wide hit with the reggae track “The Tide Is High” in 1980, which caused Virgin to re-release the original Paragons’ track that was first released in 1967 and the 1971 U Roy version was also released as a single in that year as well.
‘Pray Fi Di People’ is U Roy’s most recent album which was released in 2012.