Freddie McGregor working back to full 100
...boasts new #1 single, I'll be Waiting
Stephen "Di Genius" McGregor (left) and his brother Chino McGregor (right) share the Reggae Sumfest stage with their father, legendary reggae crooner Freddie McGregor this past summer. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)

Despite suffering what seemed a career-ending stroke last year, Freddie McGregor defied the odds and went on tour this summer. The veteran singer, since his return, has performed in Japan, Jamaica, and the UK, but plans to take things easy in 2024.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer last week, McGregor, who this year marks 61 years as a recording artiste, said: "I can report that I am doing very well, and continue to do my therapy. With the help of the Almighty, I'll be back to full hundred soon."

McGregor suffered a stroke last November in South Florida, where he has lived for many years. After a period of uncertainty, he began extensive therapy and even did impromptu performances from hospital, backed by some of his children and friends.

In July he returned to the stage with his son Chino and daughter Yeshemabeth for Japanese sound system The Mighty Crown's Far East Reggae Cruise.

Following that gig in Japan the 67-year-old artiste performed on Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay. In August, McGregor did seven shows in the UK.

"I am very happy that my new single, I'll be Waiting, has been number one [on the South Florida Reggae Chart], so too the album [A Breath of Fresh Air]. Chino and Stephen's new single titled Look A Girl has been doing very well, so it's a good look for our programme going into 2024. We thank the fans, and thank God for his blessings upon us," he said.

McGregor started his career as a child singer at Studio One, where he was mentored by producer Clement Dodd.

Songs like I Don't Know, Natural Collie and Bobby Babylon earned him an underground following in the 1970s, but it was Big Ship, released in 1982, that paved the way for mainstream success during the next 10 years.

McGregor's hit singles from that period include Push Comes to Shove, Just Don't Want to be Lonely, Prophecy, I Was Born A Winner, and And So I Will Wait For You.

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

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