At least one entertainment group has announced it would be paying tribute to Jamaican reggae icon John Holt, who passed away in London last night at the age of 67.
Al Gilkes of FAS Entertainment said the upcoming Hennessy Artistry show and next year’s Reggae Festival would be held in memory of his “great friend”.
“I have known him since the 1990s. I have done several shows with him as an individual promoter and then subsequently as a partner in FAS Entertainment. Two years ago we had him for Vintage Reggae. Freddy [Hill] and I agreed that we would have him back this year and we did,” Gilkes told Barbados TODAY
“We never knew or thought that this year would be the last time we would be seeing him perform. He was a well respected performer. He didn’t come over as someone who is working; he came over always as someone who is enjoying himself. Money didn’t matter to him. He wanted to perform, he loved entertaining people and that was how he lived his life.”
The Doctor Love singer had been battling ill health for some time and, in August, collapsed on stage at a concert in England. He subsequently underwent surgery and was recovering.
Gilke’s partner in FAS entertainment, Freddy Hill, also paid tribute to the Stick By Me singer, whom he too described as a great friend.
“John Holt was not just an artiste I booked for shows; he was a legend, he was my friend. Anytime I visited Jamaica I would go by his house and sit and reason for hours. It’s a big loss to the music fraternity and my condolences go out to his family and friends,” Hill added.
Entertainer Gorg said the industry had “lost a great one”.
“I was listening to John Holt for years. When I first got to meet him was at the first vintage reggae show and . . . I got him to sign [my] records because even though I was not from that generation his music still reached out to me and I always respected him as an artiste,” Gorg said.
Reaction was also swift from deejay Peter Coppin, who agreed that Holt’s passing was a huge loss for the reggae industry, adding, “his music will live on forever”.
John Holt recorded more than 40 albums during his career.