John Holt death: Pioneering Paragones singer, famed for writing 'The Tide Is High', dies at 69

'John died at 2.40am English time. [John's] nephew informed of his death,' his manager, Copeland Forbes, told the Jamaica Observer

John Holt, the former lead singer of The Paragons and a pioneering reggae solo artist, has died at the age of 69.

The musician, famed for singing the original version of "The Tide Is High" in 1967, which was later covered by Blondie and Gregory Isaacs, passed away yesterday morning in a hospital in London.

"John died at 2.40am English time. [John's] nephew informed of his death," his manager, Copeland Forbes, told the Jamaica Observer.

His cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Holt was born 11 July 1947 in the Greenwich Farm area of Jamaica.

 

He joined The Paragons in 1964 in Kingston, Jamaica, replacing original frontman Leroy Stamp, after making a name for himself on the talent show circuit.

 

He released his first album with The Paragons, On The Beach, in 1967. After With Roselyn Sweat in 1974, they parted ways only to reform in the late Seventies and Eighties.

Holt also enjoyed a solo career from 1968, recording with famed producers Bunny Lee and Harry J.

His track, "Stick By Me", was one of the biggest-selling Jamaican records of 1972.

He released his last solo album, Peacemaker, in 1993.

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