Dennis Brown

VP Records is preparing to release an album featuring songs by Dennis Emmanuel Brown, covered by a number of young Jamaican artistes.

Music industry insider Junior Lincoln told the Sunday Observer that the project came about as a younger generation is discovering the music of the 'Crown Prince of Reggae.'

“I can't tell you who is on the album just yet, but what I can say is that it is an incredible job that VP has has done with some of our younger artistes and the music of Dennis Brown. The album is set to be released in April... that's all I'm willing to share at this time.”

Lincoln did, however, add that a number of the acts will be performing on this year's Dennis Brown Memorial concert scheduled for February 21 on the Kingston Waterfront.

The event, which was shelved last year due to sponsorship issues, returns in celebration of Brown's birthday which is February 1.

He died July 1, 1999 at age 42. The concert is also part of Reggae Month. “Everything is proceeding well relating to the plans for this concert.

As usual, we have the nice problem of deciding on a final roster of artistes for the show. The thing is, almost every artiste who is in town on February 21 wants to be on the show.

We now have to be telling artistes 'Thanks, but no thanks'.” Lincoln stated that the outpouring of support by artistes is a reflection of the high esteem in which Brown is held, 17 years after his death. “The event is really the nearest thing to what Reggae Sunsplash used to be.

The artistes really come to enjoy the show. So, they go on stage and perform and then stay and enjoy the other performances. They genuinely want to be there simply because they love Dennis Brown... he was one of Jamaica's most loved artistes.

When you ask some of the big acts — a Bob (Marley) a John (Holt) — and they will tell you Dennis Brown was their favourite artiste. He was such an unselfish person, so genuine with that broad smile, so giving to a fault. He recorded music for a number of producers.

This happened because in a number of cases he would realise that a particular producer was struggling so he would give of himself and record a tune to help them out of the situation. That's what made him the 'Crown Prince of Reggae' and nobody can take that away from him,” said Lincoln.

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter

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