Reggae Pioneer Winston Riley Succumbs to Bullet Wounds

By Lora Neng
January 23, 2012

Winston Riley suffered multiple attacks over his long career as a reggae musician and producer, but at last he received a wound that he could not recover from. The Jamaican died of a gunshot wound Thursday at University Hospital of the West Indies, where he was fighting the injury since he was attacked in his Kingston home in November.

Riley was previously stabbed in September, shot in August, and his record store was burned down not many years before that, but police were never able to find a motivation behind the attacks and no one was arrested. “Unfortunately, Daddy didn’t wake up so we could talk to him to find out if there was something he was not telling us,” said Winston’s son, Kurt Wiley, to CBS. “He was a straightforward man who was allergic to hypocrisy.”

The late Riley is recognized for popularizing reggae in Europe and was one of the few earl artists to embrace burgeoning and cross-pollinating genres, creating the stalag rhythm that came to influence hip-hop and dancehall music. Amongst his respected credits includes production of Tenor Saw’s “Ring The Alarm,” which continues to be sampled in contemporary hip-hop tracks.

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