Jamaican Ska & Rocksteady Singer BB Seaton Dead At 79

Prolific Jamaican singer BB Seatton of The Gaylads has died at the age of 79. The pioneering singer’s death was confirmed by family members and also Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia’ Babsy, Grange, on Monday (March 4).

“If ever a variety of musical talent resided in one man, it was in BB Seaton,” Grange said in a statement. “He was a qualified musician and a singer of exceptional quality who led one of Jamaica’s outstanding musical groups, The Gaylads. He was one of the most prolific songwriters to hit the local scene and a record producer of note.”

BB Seaton, whose real name is Harris Lloyd Seaton, started his singing career in high school while attending the historic Cornwall College High School in Montego Bay. He later rose to fame in the ska and rocksteady era as Jamaican music started to flourish worldwide.

“He made 15 albums,” Grange continues in her statement. “BB Seaton also served as executive member and vice president for the Jamaica Federation of Musicians and received the El Suzie Award as best songwriter. He received the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission Award in 1981-1982 for pioneering Jamaican music as a singer and songwriter.

Who was BB Seaton?
Seaton’s early career began taking root in the 1960s, recording at Studio One, where he first recorded solo records and then formed the duo Winston & Bibby with singer Winston Delano Stewart, whom he met while recording some of his early singles. Later, the duo recruited Maurice Roberts to form The Gaylads. However, Seaton briefly left to join The Astronauts before returning to The Gaylads towards the end of the ska era as reggae started taking root as Jamaica’s popular music.

Seaton went on to co-write many popular songs in that era, such as “Over The Rainbow,” “My Jamaican Girl,” “Lady With The Red Dress,” “Hard to Confess,” and “You Should Never Do That.” Among BB Seaton’s hits as a solo artist include “Lean On Me,” “Accept My Apology,” and “Sweet Caroline.”

BB Seaton also wrote many songs for some of the greats in reggae music over the years, like Dennis Brown, UB40, The Inner Circle, Mike Brooks, Maxi Priest, Freddie Mc Gregor, and Marcia Griffiths.

BB Seaton passed away in London, England, on March 4, 2024.

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