Dennis Brown plaque: April 2012

Dennis Brown plaque

Date of Installation: April 2012
Location:
Plaque: Blue

COMMEMORATIVE BLUE PLAQUE TO HONOUR “THE CROWN PRINCE OF REGGAE” DENNIS EMMANUEL BROWN

On Saturday 7th April, as part of the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence celebrations, the Nubian Jak Community Trust in association with the Jamaica High Commission, the Federation of Reggae Music (FORM), and Brent Council, will unveil a commemorative blue plaque to the undisputed crown prince of reggae music, Dennis Emmanuel Brown. The plaque will be unveiled at Hazeldean Road, his former London home in Harlesden which he shared with his musician brother.

With apparently over 800 album releases to his name, and literally 1000s of recorded song titles, a recent submission has been made with the Guinness Book of Records, to have Dennis Brown, recognised as the most prolific recording artist in music history. But while some other Jamaican recording artists of the genre may have had more commercial success, there is no disputing the appeal of Brown’s music, or his historic place and status within reggae as its “crown prince.”

Dennis Emmanuel Brown was born in Kingston, Jamaica, on the February 1st 1957. His professional career began at the age of 11, when he made a guest appearance as lead singer for a band called the Fabulous Falcons, who had been invited to perform at Jamaica’s national arena as part of a political conference by the Jamaican Labour Party. The renowned band leader Byron Lee, who had also been performing at the conference, was so impressed with the youngster that he invited Brown to subsequently appear at a number of packaged stage shows around the island where Brown was billed as the “boy wonder.” It wasn’t long before he came to the attention of producers Derrick Harriott and later Clement “Coxone” Dodd, who was to release his first single “No Man is an Island” in 1969. The song received steady airplay for almost a year before finally going on to become a national hit in the Jamaican charts. This was followed by a series of recording with other labels and producers until 1972, when Brown after teaming up with Joe Gibbs, made his international break through with his hit Money in My Pocket. The song would become his biggest chart success, and was even a UK smash hit seven years later, peaking in the charts at number 14.

Brown continued to record prolifically, yet despite his star status he remained true to the roots of reggae. Today it is virtually impossible to go to a gathering anywhere in the world where reggae music is played without hearing the music of Dennis Brown.

By the late 1990s, Brown’s health began to rapidly deteriorate, and he had developed respiratory problems brought on by his well documented use of cocaine. In May 1999, he was diagnosed with pneumonia after a tour of Brazil, and on returning to Jamaica developed further complications. On the 30th June 1999, age 42, Dennis Brown was rushed to Kingston’s University Hospital suffering from cardiac arrest. He died the following day. He is survived by his wife Yvonne and 13 children.

In October 2011, 12 years after his passing Dennis Emanuel Brown was awarded with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD) for his contribution to the Jamaican music industry.

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Unveiling Ceremony:
The Dennis Brown Blue Heritage Plaque was organized by the Nubian Jak Community Trust, in collaboration with the Jamaica High Commission, the Federation of Reggae Music (FORM), and Brent Council. The unveiling will be performed by Yvonne Brown (wife) and Leroy Brown (brother) and the Brown family children, and will be attended by distinguish guests, local councillors, famous reggae musicians, as well as other notable guests including Levi Roots, members of the public, and media.
DATE: Saturday 7th April 2012, 3pm – 4pm VENUE: Hazeldean Road, Harlesden, NW10, 8QT

Reception Ceremony:
The unveiling will be followed by a special reception taking place at the brand new Unity Centre in Church Road, Harlesden. It will involve speeches, performances and tributes, and a world premier screening of Dennis Brown’s only tour of Africa c/o Hawkeye Records. Free refreshments will be served and music will be played by Choice FM’s Daddy Ernie.
DATE: Saturday 7th April 2012, 4:30 - 8:00pm VENUE: Unity Centre, 103 Church Road, NW10, 9EG

For more information contact:
General Enquiries: 0800 093 0400Reggae Focus 2012:
Federation of Reggae Music 020 8965 1362
Reception: Unity Centre 020 8955 1780

Quotes:

1) His Excellency, Anthony Johnson, Most Recent High Commissioner for Jamaica said: “We certainly are pleased to be associated with the effort to honour the late Dennis Brown. It is important that we honour the ancestors.”

2) Leroy Brown, brother to Dennis Brown said: “This is a timeless and international recognition for an artist who has contributed so much to the development and evolution of reggae music, both in Jamaica and worldwide”

3) Levi Roots, Founder of Reggae Reggae Sauce said “Dennis Brown was a legend who inspired a reggae’ within the record industry, to many people who listened to his music, he was the king of the generation. He will never be forgotten. His message of love will always resonate through his music."

4) Jak Beula, founder of plaque scheme said: “Although Dennis was acknowledged as the ‘crown prince of genre i.e. the people’s champion.”

5) Councillor Aslam Choudry, Mayor of Brent, said: “Brent council is pleased to be associated with the Dennis Brown blue plaque tribute, and to recognise one of it’s former residents in this way. We believe the plaque will be a positive contribution to the borough's diverse legacy and history"

6) Delroy Washington, singer and head of the Federation of Reggae Music said: “Dennis Brown has undoubtedly made one of the most significant contributions to reggae’s past. In the future the musical works of Dennis Brown are going to be much sort after artistic treasure in much the same way as Pablo Picasso’s are today.”

7) Joy Ellington of VP Records (Greensleeves) said “The musical visions of Dennis Brown and his words of wisdom will continue to inspire future generations forever more; Greensleeves & VP Records are pleased that Dennis Brown’s contribution to reggae’s music’s rich musical heritage is being recognised in this way”

8) Tony Warner, from Black History Walks www.blackhistorywalks.co.uk said: “Superb tribute to a reggae legend and a great addition to the visual legacy of Nubian Jak increasing black history plaques.”

Notes to Editors

1. Dennis Brown lived at Hazeldean Road in Harlesden between 1993 and 1999, with his brother Leroy Brown.

2. The unveiling will be attended by the First Secretary of the Jamaica High Commission, the Mayor of Brent and Brent Councillors, Chair of Nubian Jak Community Trust, Chair of the Federation Of Reggae Music, Community Leaders and Groups, Recording Artists, and Members of the Public and the Media.

3. The Nubian Jak Community Trust Plaque Scheme is the only national BME plaque and sculpture scheme in the UK. For more information contact: 0800 093 0400 or email info@nubianjak.com


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