BREAKING: Veteran reggae singer John Holt is dead {VIDEO}

Living reggae legend John Holt collapses onstage in UK 

Veteran Jamaican reggae singer John Holt died in a London hospital on Sunday. He was 69.

Copeland Forbes, Holt’s manager since 2006, confirmed the entertainer’s passing.

“John died at 2:40 am English time. His [John’s] nephew informed of his death,” Forbes told OBSERVER ONLINE.

The cause of death is yet to be confirmed. 

Holt first gained popularity in the 1960s as the lead singer of the Paragons.

VETERAN reggae singer John Holt died in a London hospital yesterday. He was 69. 

Copeland Forbes, Holt’s manager since 2006, confirmed the entertainer’s passing. 

“John died at 2:40 am English time. His [John’s] nephew informed of his death,” Forbes told the Jamaica Observer. 

The cause of death is yet to be confirmed. 

Forbes said Holt did an operation at the University Hospital of West Indies in June and went to England the following month for a series of shows. Holt is one of reggae's most influential singers. 

He had a remarkable career with the Paragons during the rocksteady era of the late-1960s. 

His solo career is just as impressive. He recorded hits for producers Clement Dodd, Bunny Lee and Joseph Hoo Kim in the 1970s, as well as the classic album 1000 Volts of Holt, a big seller in the United Kingdom. His hits include Stick by Me and Only a Smile. 

He was awarded the Order of Distinction, Jamaica's fifth highest honour, in 2004. Holt is survived by his wife, Merl.

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Chairman of the Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates (JAVAA), Frankie Campbell, is wishing singer John Holt a speedy and lasting recovery, following his recent collapse onstage at the One Love Festival in Springfield in the United Kingdom.

Campbell said that the I Want A Love I Can Feel singer did an operation last month and was, perhaps, back in action too early.

"I just think he went back to performing too early. We don't want to lose anybody else at this point in Jamaican music - certainly, not Holt," Campbell said.

The JAVAA chairman and bass player in Fab 5 Band also encourages performers to ensure that they are covered by an effective health-insurance policy, as sickness and death are inevitable.

"We want to know that our musicians are healthy as possible. In Fab 5, we have an insurance programme, because health is vital. We can't afford to lose somebody like Holt, because he is one of the few living vintage artistes who have been holding up the music in the four corners of earth," Campbell said.

"John has been extensively touring and we want him to continue spreading the music."

The singer continues to receive treatment at an undisclosed location.

The 2014 One Love Festival was dedicated to the memory of Nelson Mandela. The second live stage at the venue was renamed The Madiba Stage this year, in honour of the late freedom fighter and former president of South Africa. The stage was formerly called Soul Adventurers.

The line-up included Cocoa Tea, John Holt, The Wailing Souls, Brushy One String, Cornel Campbell with Soothsayers, Macka B and the Roots Reggae Band, Michael Prophet, Addis Pablo, Gary Clail Sound System, Gorgon Sound System featuring Bunny Lee, King Kong, Nerieus Joseph with Sereus Band, Jesse Royal, Apache Indian, Saxon Sound Marque.

John Holt started his musical career in 1963 with I Cried a Tear, a record produced by Leslie Kong. However, his prominence locally came as the lead singer of The Paragons. They recorded several hit records like Ali Baba, Tonight and I See Your Face for producer Duke Reid at his Treasure Isle Studio.

Holt left The Paragons in 1970 and concentrated on his solo career, Stick By Me coming in 1972.

JOHN HOLT - Live HD at Garance Reggae Festival 2013

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Comment by gary king on October 23, 2014 at 6:24pm

sad he is great man

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