Desmond Dekker, 64, Pioneer of Jamaican Music, Dies

Desmond Dekker, 64, Pioneer of Jamaican Music, Dies

Desmond Dekker, the Jamaican singer whose 1969 hit, “The Israelites,” opened up a worldwide audience for reggae, died on Wednesday. He was 64.

He died after collapsing from a heart attack at his home in Surrey, England, his manager, Delroy Williams, told Reuters.

“The Israelites” was the peak of Mr. Dekker’s extensive career, selling more than a million copies worldwide. He was already a major star in Jamaica and well known in Britain. The song was his only United States hit, but it was a turning point for Jamaican music among international listeners.

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