Saturday, January 21, 2012


Reggae icon Winston Riley diesCelebrated reggae producer Winston Riley has died, months after he was shot in the head in his native Jamaica. Riley fell into a coma after he was shot in Kingston on Nov. 1, and he died Thursday. He was 65.
Widely recognized as one of the most successful reggae producers of all time, Riley began his career as a singer at the age of 16, when he formed his band the Techniques. They recorded with producers Byron Lee and Duke Reid before Riley quit the group and moved behind the soundboard to try his hand at beatmaking.
Search: Riley's Stalag rhythm
He went on to work with reggae acts including Boris Gardiner and Johnny Osbourne and scored international success in 1971 with Dave and Ansell Collins' hit "Double Barrel." Riley became known for creating the popular Stalag beat and later helped launch the careers of Buju Banton, Lone Ranger and Frankie Paul. Riley's Stalag rhythm is estimated to have provided the music foundation for an estimated 400 songs.
Riley had been targeted in a number of vicious attacks in the past year. He was shot in August and stabbed repeatedly in an incident in September. Police have struggled to establish a motive for any of the attacks.

Riley's son, radio DJ Kurt Riley, remains equally baffled by the shocking wave of violence.
He told the Jamaica Observer newspaper, "Unfortunately, Daddy didn't wake up so we could talk to him to find out if there was something he was not telling us. He was a straightforward man who was allergic to hypocrisy."
Winston Riley is survived by several children and grandchildren

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