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Sunday, July 18, 1999 Published at 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK


Reggae star's musical funeral

The funeral was marked by musical tributes

Thousands of people danced to reggae music on the streets of Kingston to mark the funeral of Dennis Brown, the singer who took over from Bob Marley as Jamaica's "Crown Prince of Reggae".

The dreadlocked singer, who was one of the best loved and most influential exponents of the genre, died on 1 July from pneumonia after years of illness. He was 42.

[ image: Fans queued to pay their respects]
Fans queued to pay their respects
Born in Kingston in 1957, he was seen as a child prodigy in the 1960s and went on to record many hits, including How Could I Leave and Here I Come.

Despite a national outpouring of grief, Brown's funeral was an event marked by music and dance.

Crowds packed into the National Arena to watch a live tribute concert. Brown's five sons were among the performers, as well as reggae artists Maxi Priest and Shaggy.

Prime Minister PJ Patterson described Brown's music as "a sweet song and soothing balm for our nation."

Brown became the first entertainer to be buried at Kingston's National Heroes Park.

In the two days before the funeral, more than 10,000 mourners spent hours filing past the casket where Brown lay.

Brown rose to prominence in the 1970s wave of reggae singers, that included Bob Marley.

He released more than 50 albums. His first hit song was No Man is an Island - which he recorded in 1969 at the age of 12.

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