Gregory Isaacs has died at his London home after losing his battle against lung cancer. The 59-year-old Jamaican-born reggae singer known as the Cool Ruler or Lonely Lover because of his smooth, romantic singing style will best be remembered for hits such as Night Nurse.
Isaacs was heralded for his love songs and unlike previous reggae artists such as Bob Marley and Burning Spear he shied away from song content that glorified the Rastafarian culture.
His image was always sharp, dressed in Fedoras and sports jackets, he managed to combine a powerful prowess with a vulnerability that drew many to compare him to Tyrone Davis, an American rhythm and blues singer, and the late Marvin Gaye.
His songs revolved around a desire to find love or the wish to be understood by his fantasy lovers, a sentiment that was echoed perfectly by his baritone vocals.
Milo Miles, a music critic writing for the New York Times said Gregory Isaacs was, “the most exquisite vocalist in reggae,” and added that “his lustful songs are not simple seductions or sexual boasts but sensuous daydreams, escapes from tribulation that invite the listener along.”
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