Dennis Brown Plaque

For Immediate Release PRESS RELEASE BLUE HERITAGE PLAQUE EASTER CELEBRATION TO “THE CROWN PRINCE OF REGGAE” DENNIS EMMANUEL BROWN On Easter Saturday, 7th April, the resurrection of the musical legacy of Dennis Emmanuel Brown begins with the unveiling of a commemorative blue plaque to the undisputed crown prince of reggae.

The plaque is being organised by the Nubian Jak Community Trust as part of Jamaica 50th independence anniversary celebrations, and has the support of the Jamaica High Commission, the Federation of Reggae Music (FORM), and Brent Council. The plaque will be unveiled at Hazeldean Road, the former London home in Harlesden which he shared with his musician brother. As well as being a icon for reggae music worldwide, Dennis Brown is also now being given the accolade as perhaps the most prolific recording artist of all time.

With apparently over 800 album releases to his name, and literally 1000s of recorded song titles, a recent submission has been to include this achievement in the Guinness Book of Records. 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 a gathering any where in the world where reggae music is played without hearing the music of Dennis Brown.

Dennis Brown performed extensively but by the late 1990s his health began to deteriorate. 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: (General Enquiries 0800 093 0400) www.nubianjak.com
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 and members of the public, and media.
DATE: Saturday 7th April 2012, 3pm – 4pm VENUE: Hazeldean Road, Harlesden, NW10, 8QT
Reception Ceremony After Party Celebrations: (Unity Centre 020 8955 1780)
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 the world premier
screening of Dennis Brown‟s only tour of Africa c/o Hawkeye Records. There will be stalls, refreshments
available and music will be played by Choice FM‟s Daddy Ernie plus guest DJs.
DATE: Saturday 7th April 2012, 4:30 – 10pm VENUE: Unity Centre, 103 Church Road, NW10, 9EG
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) David Rodigan MBE of KISS FM said “Dennis Brown is unquestionably one of Jamaica’s greatest
musical icons. The Blue Plaque being erected at his brother’s home in his honour and memory, is both a
significant historical monument to what he achieved as a singer and the place he held in our hearts as
Londoners, but more importantly it will serve as a message of hope and inspiration to the future
generations who can trace their ancestry back to Jamaica, and know that Dennis Brown was truly one of
the island’s Godsons, or as he was internationally known, The Crown Prince Of Reggae.”
4) Jak Beula, founder of plaque scheme www.nubianjak.com said: “Although Dennis was
acknowledged as the „crown prince of reggae‟ within the record industry, to many people who listened to
his music, he was the king of the genre i.e. the people‟s champion.”
5) 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.”
6) 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 its former residents in this way. We
believe the plaque will be a positive contribution to the borough’s diverse legacy and history”
7) Levi Roots, Founder of Reggae Reggae Sauce said “Dennis Brown was a legend who inspired a
generation. He will never be forgotten. His message of love will always resonate through his music.”
8) Joy Ellington of VP Records (Greensleeves) said ““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”
9) Mi-Kee Koos CEO Authentic Real Music/Unique Radio.Org Said “As a friend and a fan of Dennis
Brown and the promoter who organised his last UK tour, I have fond memories of our time working
together. This recognition is long overdue and I am delighted and feel the joy that Dennis Brown has
finally been acknowledged as one of the greatest reggae icons ever to emerge out of Jamaica. May his
music continue to fill households, clubs, parties and airwaves.
10) 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
4. The Dennis Brown Plaque is one of a series of plaques featuring reggae musicians, to be unveiled
over the next 12 months in association with the Federation of Reggae Music and the federation‟s launch
of Reggae Focus 2012. For more information contact: 0208 9651362 or email
reggaefocus@yahoo.co.uk

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