Why is Sugar Minott considered a dancehall pioneer? Listen to Reggae Lover Podcast 86 to find out.
In a live dancehall setting during the 1970s, it was common for artists to perform over pre-recorded instrumentals. Sugar Minott was the first artist to recreate that style inside the studio. He worked with Coxsone Dodd and sang new lyrics over the instrumentals of popular Studio One songs.
After leaving Studio One, Minott founded his own record label called the Black Roots. He also founded a sound system called Youth Man Promotions, and later a record label by the same name. His vision was to give young artists an outlet, and a chance to make their name in the music business.
Sugar Minott moved to England where he was achieving more success than he was in Jamaica. The lover's rock craze started in the UK and Sugar was one of the major players in that movement. While in England he discovered the group Musical Youth.
Back in Jamaica, he's also credited with discovering many young talents. He gave unknown artists the chance to perform live in the Dancehall and record for the first time. It was Sugar Minott who actually recorded Garnet Silk's first song. Other artists associated with the Black Roots and Youthman Promotion movements include Barrington Levy, Little John, Nitty Gritty, Tenor Saw, Junior Reid, Jah Stitch, Ranking Dread and Ranking Joe.
Sugar was a very Dynamic, versatile artist with successful records in different styles. Lovers rock, Roots, covers, dancehall style, and original written material. Sugar Minott recorded for his own record labels, and he worked with other top labels and producers. Working with Mikey Dread, George Phang, Sly and Robbie Jammys, Channel One and with the Bullwackies label out of New York City. Sugar Minott recorded over 60 albums and countless singles.
He passed away in 2010 to heart disease. To see him on stage I was very impressed. Even in his old age, he was a very energetic performer, acting out scenes, jumping, prancing and dancing across the stage. All with his voice still sounding sweet like sugar. Very comfortable in a dancehall setting, he would ask the band or the selector to play some Studio One, and he could sing for hours - entertaining and thrilling the crowd.
I salute the great Sugar Minott. His legacy lives on with his daughter Pashon Minott who is a bonafide recording artist in her own rights. If you enjoy this mix I hope you will add some of the songs to your music collection.
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