SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Jamaican singer and record producer Lee “Scratch” Perry, considered one of reggae’s founding fathers, died on Sunday. He was 85.
Perry, whose real name is Rainford Hugh Perry, died at a hospital in Montego Bay, Jamaica, according to a statement issued by Prime Minister Andrew Holness. He noted that Perry was a pioneer of dub music in the 1970s and produced more than 1,000 recordings over 60 years that earned him various nicknames, including “Upsetter” and “Mad Scientist.”
“His innovative nature led him to become one of the greatest remixing and studio effects guru,” Holness said, adding that people have described Perry as an “eccentric character” who was loved by many.
In a 2010 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, musician Keith Richards described Perry as “the Salvador Dali of music.”
Perry is credited for reggae hits including “Dreadlocks in Moonlight,” “City Too Hot,” and “Curly Locks.” He kept producing music until recently, posting on Twitter last month that he was preparing for shows in Europe later this year.
“I was very busy in the studio doing some lovely remixes,” he tweeted in July next to a picture of himself playing a tiny flute with brightly painted nails and his hair and beard dyed a crimson red. “Keeping fit for the upcoming shows in Europe and hoping they will happen!”