Jet November 15, 2010 : Page 19

Gregory Isaacs: NATION/ Census G regory Isaacs, 59, the Jamaican reggae sing er whose smooth style earn-ed him the nickname “Cool Ruler,” died recently at his London home, said Isaacs’ manager, Cope land Forbes. Isaacs had been diagnosed with lung cancer a year ago but contin ued performing until weeks before his death. His wife, Linda, said Isaacs was “well-loved by every one, his fans and his family, and he worked really hard to make sure he delivered the music they loved and enjoyed.” Born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1951, Isaacs began recording in his teens, and went on to produce scores of albums. With his sinuous baritone and roman-tic songs, Isaacs became a leading propo-nent of the mellow “Lovers Rock” style of reggae. He hit his stride in the mid-1970s with ballads like Love Is Overdue and All I Have Is Love . Later that decade he team ed up with the Jamaican production duo of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare for several hit songs, including Soon Forward and What A Feeling . Isaacs was best known internationally for the title song from his 1982 album Night Nurse , a club favorite that later became a hit for Simply Red. His career was stalled by a cocaine habit that landed him in jail on several occasions. Isaacs said ruefully in 2007 that he’d gone to “Cocaine High School ... the greatest college ever, but the most expensive school fee ever paid.” Drug abuse took a toll on his voice but he kept making music, releasing a well-re-ceived fi nal album, Brand New Me, in 2008. — Associated Press PASSINGS... BARBARA MATHEAS ABELE , 101, the last living founding member of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., of natural causes at the Stapeley Retirement Home in Philadelphia, according to a spokesman for the Terry Funeral Home in Philadelphia. Jack and Jill, the nation’s largest African-American family organization, was founded in 1938 by a group of mothers... JOHN H. MURPHY III , 94, former chairman of the board and publisher of the AFRO American Newspapers in Washington and Baltimore, died at the Stella Maris Nursing Home in Timonium, Md. ...Gospel and R&B singer JAMES PHELPS , 78, who performed with soul greats including Lou Rawls and Sam Cooke, died at a Los Angeles hospital, apparently from complications of diabetes...Prime Minister DAVID THOMPSON , 48, of Barbados, died at his private residence in St. Philip after struggling to beat pancreatic cancer most of the year. MYJET247.COM 19 ROBERT KENNEY/AP Jamaican Reggae Singer

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