*Legendary reggae artist Sugar Minott, the honey-throated singer and producer who helped to popularize reggae music, has died at the age of 54.
Minott died Saturday at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Jamaica’s capital, Kingston, his wife Maxine Stowe revealed. She did not disclose the cause of death.
Two months ago, Minott had canceled performances in Canada after suffering chest pains, reports the Associated Press.
Born in Kingston in May 1956, the singer, whose real name was Lincoln Barrington Minott, launched his musical career in the late 1960s as a member of the African Brothers reggae trio.
His successful solo run began in the 1970s and quickly drew a following in Jamaica’s dancehalls with songs like “Vanity” and “Mr. DC” while recording for the famed Studio One, the Caribbean island’s first black-owned music studio.
In 1981, he had his biggest hit with a cover of the Jackson Five’s “Good Thing Going,” which reached No. 4 in the United Kingdom’s singles chart in March of that year. [Listen below.]
Minott was known for nurturing young talent with his own Black Roots record label and Youthman Promotion company. Reggae and dancehall artists such as Junior Reid and Tenor Saw began their careers under his tutelage.
“Sugar Minott was a man who gave a lot of strength to the music although he got no love from the business,” Reid said.
A new album from Minott, “New Day,” is scheduled to be released in coming weeks.
Stowe said funeral arrangements had not yet been made.