LONDON, England: Jamaican reggae legend Gregory Isaacs has succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 59.
Isaacs, nicknamed “The Cool Ruler”, died on Monday morning at his residence in London. His wife Linda and children Sandra, Maurice and Tommy, along with his grandchildren, were with him when he passed away.
The reggae star died peacefully, said his wife.
“Gregory was well-loved by everyone, his fans and his family, and he worked really hard to make sure he delivered the music they loved and enjoyed. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends,” she said in a statement issued after Isaacs’ death.
His body is expected to be flown back to Jamaica where the government will handle funeral arrangements.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, on July 15, 1951, Isaacs performed in a series of talent shows in the 1960s and recorded several albums before achieving success in 1973 with the single, ‘My Only Lover’. The song was followed by a series of hits, which culminated in his most popular song, ‘Night Nurse’, released in 1982.
Isaacs earned his moniker following the release of his 1978 album, The Cool Ruler, in which he perfected the genre of reggae known as “lover’s rock”, known for its romantic content and 1950s R&B crooner-style vocals.
Isaacs released more than 50 albums during his career.
In 1982, at the height of his popularity, he served a six-month prison sentence in Jamaica for possession of unlicensed firearms. He celebrated his release from prison with the album Out Deh! in 1983.
His last album, Brand New Me, was released in 2008.