Accessibility links

Breaking News

Zimbabwean Music Lovers Fondly Recall Late Reggae Great Gregory Isaacs

Reggae legend Gregory Isaacs died October 25, 2010, in London, of cancer.

Affectionately known as the 'Cool Ruler' by many of his fans, the singer-songwriter died at his South London home on October 25 of lung cancer

Zimbabweans this week joined music lovers around the world in mourning the passing of the great reggae singer Gregory Isaacs who visited Zimbabwe in the 1980s following independence and developed a loyal following in the country. The beloved and extraordinarily prolific musician was 59 years old.

Zimbabweans young and old took to Facebook and Twitter to mourn the legendary Gregory Isaacs.

Affectionately known as "the Cool Ruler" by many of his fans, the singer and songwriter died at his South London home on Monday, October 25, after a long struggle with lung cancer.

Bass player Cat Coore of seminal reggae band Third World called Isaacs the "Frank Sinatra of Jamaica." He was estimated to have put out some 500 reggae albums during his career.

Besides being an exceptional reggae artist, Isaacs was often praised for his fashion sense on and off stage. He is best remembered for the powder-blue tuxedo and black fedora which he wore in the 1978 film “Rockers."

On the dark side, Isaacs battled a drug addiction that caused the loss of most of his teeth greatly impacting his voice.

"Drugs are a debasing weapon," he said in 2007. "It was the greatest college ever, but the most expensive school fee ever paid – the Cocaine High School. I learned everything, and now I've put it on the side."