Dennis Brown - Legacy


Dennis Brown was an inspiration and influence for many reggae singers from the late 1970s through to the 2000s, including Barrington Levy, Junior Reid, Frankie Paul, Luciano, Bushman, and Richie Stephens. In July 1999, a group of UK-based musicians and more than fifty vocalists working under the collective name The British Reggae All Stars (including Mafia & Fluxy, Carlton "Bubblers" Ogilvie, Peter Hunnigale, Louisa Mark, Nerious Joseph, and Sylvia Tella) recorded "Tribute Song", a medley of six of Brown's best-known songs, in memory of Brown.

He was honoured on the first anniversary of his death by a massive memorial concert in Brooklyn, which featured performances from Johnny Osbourne, Micky Jarrett, Delano Tucker, and Half Pint. In 2001, a charitable trust was set up in Brown's name. The Dennis Emanuel Brown Trust works to educate youngsters, maintain and advance the memory of Dennis Brown, and help to provide youngsters with musical instruments. The trust awards the Dennis Emanuel Brown (DEB) bursary for educational achievement each year to students between the ages of 10 and 12 years. In 2005, George Nooks, who had worked with Brown in the mid-1970s in his deejay guise as Prince Mohamed, released an album of Brown covers, George Nooks Sings Dennis Brown: The Voice Lives On, with Nooks stating: "I was always inspired by his talent and I used to sing like him. Dennis had a whole heap of influence on me. To me he was the greatest. He was my number one singer." In the same year, Gregory Isaacs paid a similar tribute with the album Gregory Isaacs Sings Dennis Brown. In February 2007, a series of events were staged in Jamaica in celebration of the lives of both Brown and Marley (both would have had birthdays that month). In 2008, the Dennis Brown Trust announced a new internet radio station, dedicated solely to the music of Dennis Brown, and in the same month a tribute concert was staged by the Jamaican Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates (JAVAA) featuring Dwight Pinkney, Derrick Harriott, Sugar Minott, George Nooks, and John Holt.

Songs about or dedicated to Brown include "Song for Dennis Brown" by The Mountain Goats, "If This World Were Mine" by Slightly Stoopid, "Drive" by Pepper (band), and Whitney Houston's "Whitney Houston Dub Plate" on The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book album by Wyclef Jean.

On 26 April 2010, Brown was featured on NPR Morning Edition news program as one of the "50 Great Voices - The stories of awe-inspiring voices from around the world and across time". The NPR "50 Great Voices" list includes Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson and Jackie Wilson among others.

On 6 August 2011, being the 49th anniversary of the country's independence, the Governor-General of Jamaica posthumously conferred the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD) upon Brown, for his contribution to the Jamaican music industry.

In April 2012, a commemorative blue plaque was placed on Brown's home in Harlesden.

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