Black Music Month: Sugar Minott

June is Black Music Month and WERS at Night will recognize black musicians, composers, singers, and songwriters who have made enormous contributions to the music industry. Today, June 29th, Rockers is highlighting Sugar Minott.

Born Lincoln Barrington Minott on May 25th, 1965, known to the world as Sugar Minott, was a pioneer in the dancehall world. Minott started his career in 1969 as part of the group The African Brothers. The group recorded a few singles, including “No Cup No Broke” for Studio One in 1974, before breaking up.

From there Minott went began his solo career recording with Studio One and had hits such as “Vanity”, “Mr. DC”, and “Jah Jah Children”. He also released a few LPs with the label: Live Loving, Bittersweet, Ghetto-ology, and Roots Lovers. This last album moved his career towards the U.K, where he became more popular. His biggest hit in the U.K. was “Good Thing Going” – a cover of a Jackson 5 song – which reached #4 on the British singles chart in 1981. At this time Minott was at a height in his career with Ghetto-ology and showed commitment to the impoverished youth.

To support the youth in more deprived areas of Jamaica, Minott created the Black Roots label, with popular artists Garnet Silk, Tony Rebel, Johnny Osbourne, and Tenor Saw.

Minott continued to record throughout the 80s, coming out with some of his biggest hits, “No Vacancy” and “Rub A Dub Sound”, and worked with top producers like Sly and Robbie, Mikey Dread, Donovan Germain, and more.

Minott’s style and voice have yet to be matched. His unique voice and the some of the humor and personality he brought to music and performances will forever set him apart.

Minott died at the age of 54, on July 10, 2010, from possible heart problems in a hospital in Kingston, Jamaica. Sugar Minott was known for developing and pushing forward the style of music known today as dancehall, and for all his accomplishments and contributions to the world of reggae music, we honor him for Black Music Month.

By Martika Mercer

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