U Roy the legendary pioneer of the dancehall is dead. He was 78-years-old and he was ill for some time.
On Wednesday night the veteran toaster died in Jamaica, according to a report.
Shaggy was one of the dancehall stars who posted on social media, saying, we lost one of our heroes today who was a true legend in this game of dance hall/ Reggae if you’re a fan of Jamaican sound system, then you’re a fan of Stur Gav sound. With greats such as Colonel Josey Whales and Charlie Chaplin, who were pioneers in this game. U Roy had a catalogue of amazing recordings, he was a master at his craft. Rest Well daddy Roy!! R.I.P. Walk good, Shaggy stated.
On Twitter David Rodigan posted, RIP Daddy U Roy the iconic toaster who changed the paradigm of Jamaican music when he released the ‘Version Galore’ album. He said he was always in awe of him and that the tone of his voice, his cadence, his lyrical shimmering and the riddim riding he did, made him the soul adventurer.
Beenie Man also took to Instagram to send condolences to the “greatest king”.
U Roy, whose given name was Ewart 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.