ST JAMES, Jamaica – In a tribute fit for musical royalty, seven of dancehall’s biggest acts on Sunday morning heaped praises on iconic producer Dave Kelly in the language he speaks best – music – on Night 2 of Reggae Sumfest 2022 at the Catherine Hall Entertainment complex in Montego Bay.
"For God so loved the world, he gave us his only begotten son...and then he gave dancehall Dave Kelly," said ace deejay Beenie Man as he tried to sum up the immense contribution made by the standout producer to the industry.
The ‘King of the Dancehall’ was joined by former rival Bounty Killer, Cham, Frisco Kidd, Spragga Benz, Wayne Wonder and Louie Culture in the tribute to the Madhouse Records boss that saw them singing some of the classics masterfully crafted by Kelly throughout his prolific career.
Among the hit singles performed were Frisco Kid's Likkle and Cute and Beenie Man's Teenie Weenie on the Medicine rhythm; Gyal Pan Di Side by Frisco Kidd, Beenie Man's Hypocrite, Searching Dem Searching by Wayne Wonder, Cham's Galang Gyal and Bounty Killer's Eagle and Hawk on the Showtime rhythm; as well as hits on other classic Kelly productions including the Bruckout, Murderation, Fiesta, Haunted, Bug/Clone and the Stink rhythms.
The dancehall heavyweights had the entire Catherine Hall moving as they no doubt brought patrons on a nostalgic trip back to what was arguably dancehall’s best era.
Following the performance, Cham told OBSERVER ONLINE that the tribute was fitting as Dave Kelly is a gift to Jamaican culture and deserves to be highlighted in a special way.
"This was very special. The tribute was just giving Dave his flowers and showing him we appreciate him. We just want to say big up to Dave Kelly and the whole Madhouse crew. Thanks for everything," Cham said.