Pioneering reggae singer Holt dies


Local reggae fans are mourning the death of pioneering singer John Holt who passed away at a London hospital on Sunday.

Mr Holt, who was born and raised in Jamaica, was 67. The cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

Mr Holt showed promise from a very early age and recorded his first single I Cried a Tear in 1963.

He rose to prominence in his native country as the lead singer of The Paragons.

It was during this period Mr Holt cut a string of hit singles at Duke Reid’s iconic Treasure Isle Studio, including The Tide Is High, which he wrote and was later made famous by Blondie.

He also recorded solo material at the legendary Studio One label which included the hit single A Love I Can Feel.

After parting company with The Paragons in 1970 to concentrate on his solo career, Mr Holt went on to become one of the biggest acts in the reggae industry and performed in Bermuda on at least one occasion.

His Stick By Me was the biggest selling Jamaican record of 1972 while his hit Police in Helicopter established the singer as a contemporary, cultural artist.

Local promoter Declan Harris, of Veterans In Action, said the late singer’s legacy will live on through his music.

“The tide will remain high in Bermuda and all over the world as his legacy to the reggae community is celebrated,” Mr Harris said. “We will commemorate his contribution with a special tribute section during our upcoming Remembrance Day show on November 10.

“Veterans in Action would like to extend their heart felt condolences to John Holt’s family, friends and fans.”

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Published Oct 21, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 20, 2014 at 11:28 pm)

Pioneering reggae singer Holt dies

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