Reggae Legend Lee "Scratch" Perry Dies at 85

Reggae legend Lee "Scratch" Perry passed away Sunday at a hospital in Lucea, Jamaica, as confirmed by prime minister Andrew Holness. He was 85 years old.

Lee Scratch Perry

Photo by Paul Bergen/Redferns

Lee Scratch Perry

Reggae legend Lee “Scratch” Perry passed away Sunday at the age of 85. A cause of death has not yet been revealed.

Andrew Holness, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, confirmed Perry’s death in a series of tweets.

“My deep condolences to the family, friends, and fans of legendary record producer and singer, Rainford Hugh Perry OD, affectionately known as ‘Lee Scratch’ Perry,” Holness wrote. “Perry was a pioneer in the 1970s’ development of dub music with his early adoption of studio effects to create new instrumentals of existing reggae tracks.”

“He has worked with and produced for various artistes, including Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Congos, Adrian Sherwood, the Beastie Boys, and many others,” the Prime Minister continued. “Undoubtedly, Lee Scratch Perry will always be remembered for his sterling contribution to the music fraternity. May his soul Rest In Peace.”

Perry produced more than 1,000 recordings over the course of his 60-plus year career, winning Best Reggae Album at the 2002 Grammy Awards for his LP, Jamaican E.T.. The Jamaican artist also received nominations for four additional albums: Back On The Controls (2014), Revelation (2010), Repentance (2008), and The End Of An American Dream (2007).

Perry was married twice, first to Paulette Perry, from whom he divorced in 1979, and then to Mireille Ruegg, whom he met in 1989 and had two children with.

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