Shock as hit musician found dead

Shock as hit musician found dead

One of the stars of a hit British band that produced one of the 1980s most seminal reggae songs has died at the age of 55.

Frederic Waite Jr was the drummer in Birmingham band Musical Youth.

The band performed their defining song, Pass the Dutchie, just days ago at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

In 1982, the cannabis inspired anthem went to number one in the charts in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland and reached the top 10 of the US Billboard chart.

It also had a recent resurgence after featuring in the hit Netflix show Stranger Things.

On Wednesday, the ban announced the death of Waite Jr on social media.

“We are sad to announce the passing of Musical Youth’s drummer Frederick Waite Jr.

“Our thoughts go out to him and his family during this sad time. We have lost a musical legend, who inspired many young musicians over the last 40 years,” the tribute stated.

“Rest in Eternal Peace”.

Waite, known as “Freddie” died on July 20 in Birmingham with details only being announced now. It is not known what caused his death.

The British-Jamaican band formed in the UK’s second city in 1979.

They first performed for students at their own school, Duddeston High, in the city, reported website Birmingham Live.

Pass the Dutchie was the first single after the group signed to a major label, in their case MCA Records.

Musical Youth was the first black act to have a music video played on the then new music channel MTV.

Debut album The Youth of Today, also released in 1982, was certified gold in the UK and Canada and spawned a number of further hit singles. Musical Youth also were nominated for a Grammy Award for best new band in 1984.

The band disbanded in 1985. Two of the band members, Dennis Seaton and Michael Grant, resurrected the band as duo in 2001.

The band came back together for the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in on July 20 as part of a celebration of Birmingham culture alongside singer Beverley Knight, the band UB40 and a TV show Peaky Blinders.

However Waite did not appear with another drummer taking his place.

Tributes have poured in for Waite with people saying it was “beyond sad,” and remembering his youth in Birmingham.

“How incredibly sad, Freddie, you inspired so many black British teenagers in the 1980s and made them realise their dreams could come true,” one said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.