I was sad to hear about the passing of reggae legend Gregory Isaacs today.
I have been a HUGE fan of his for many years now. I remember the first time I heard his voice, I almost melted - his voice and harmonies were so beautiful and eloquent.
One of the best things about my love for Gregory Isaacs is that you can always find a song or an album that you haven’t heard before! Gregory has over 500 recorded albums! The man was busy! One of my favorite albums is ‘Night Nurse’, which was released in 1982. He also starred alongside other reggae legends in the cult classic, Rockers. If you haven’t seen this movie and you love reggae and reggae culture, see it! It may be a little difficult to understand their use of Patois, but after a few rewinds, you’ll be fine, lol.
Another reason why i’m saddened by the passing of this incredible man is because I was never able to see him perform live….but not because I never made an attempt to. I have actually attempted to see Gregory live in concert over 5 times now, if not more, and he was always a “no show”. After the first or second time of him not making an appearance, I did a little research and I found out that Gregory has been suffering from a crack cocaine addiction for many years. This addiction landed him in prison, caused him to miss and cancel shows and really affected his overall health. I knew it was serious after seeing some photos of Gregory and he looked very frail and thin. Gregory’s addiction was so bad that it had a major impact on his voice, and many of his teeth were falling out.
In 2007, Gregory said this in regards to his addiction: “Drugs are a debasing weapon. It was the greatest college ever, but the most expensive school fee ever paid - the Cocaine High School. I learnt everything, and now I’ve put it on the side.”
I’m glad that Gregory Isaac’s legacy will continue on through his music, and like I said, there’s a ton of it to go around. [yay!]
Rest in paradise Gregory.