*Reggae producer Winston Riley, who has worked with the likes of Boris Gardiner and Johnny Osbourne, has died, weeks after he was shot in the head in his native Jamaica.
Riley fell into a coma after he was gunned down in Kingston on Nov. 1. He died on Thursday (Jan 19) at the age of 65.
Widely recognized as one of the most successful reggae producers of all time, Riley began his career as a singer at the age of 16, when he formed his own band The Techniques. They recorded with producers Byron Lee and Duke Reid, before Riley quit the group and moved behind the soundboard to try his hand at producing.
He went on to work with reggae acts including Gardiner and Osbourne, and scored international success in 1971 with Dave and Ansell Collins’ hit “Double Barrel.”
Riley became known for creating the popular “Stalag” beat and later helped to launch the careers of Buju Banton, Lone Ranger and Frankie Paul.
Riley had been targeted in a number of vicious attacks in the past year – he was shot in August and stabbed repeatedly in another incident in September. Police have struggled to establish a motive for any of the attacks and his son, radio DJ Kurt Riley, remains equally baffled by the shocking wave of violence.
He says, “Unfortunately Daddy didn’t wake up so we could talk to him to find out if there was something he was not telling us. He was a straightforward man, who was allergic to hypocrisy.”