from the Jamaica Gleaner:Reggae star Alton Ellis, who pioneered the "rocksteady" sound, has died of cancer in hospital at the age of 70.
The Jamaica-born singer and songwriter passed away peacefully at Hammersmith Hospital in west London, a spokeswoman for the hospital said.
Tributes poured in for Ellis, who moved to Britain in the 1970s, with many mourning the passing of a "legend".
During a career spanning more than 50 years, Ellis had a string of hits including I'm Still In Love, Dance Crasher and I'm Just A Guy.
Ellis was known as "the Godfather of rocksteady" and enjoyed a string of hits in Jamaica during the very early days of reggae.
His manager and agent Trish De Rosa, of Roots-Rockers Promotions, said he was a prolific artist and a key figure in the history of Jamaican music.
"He has been my guiding star and my inspiration from the moment I met him," she said. "His life was the music and the stage. He was getting a tremendous amount of work right up to the end - it was very difficult to get him to slow down. He wanted to do as much as he could and leave a strong legacy."
She said Jamaican authorities were considering the possibility of giving Ellis, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma last year, a state funeral.
He underwent chemotherapy and returned to the stage before he collapsed during his final performance in central London in August.
Ellis, who lived in Northolt, Middlesex, leaves more than 20 children.
Further Info:ALTON ELLIS, the west Kingston balladeer who defined the lovers' rock genre, died Friday evening at age 70. The singer succumbed to a 10-month fight with lymphatic cancer.
Sandra Ellis, one of his children, told The Sunday Gleaner that her father passed away at the Hammersmith Hospital in London, where he had been receiving treatment for the past two weeks.
Cancer of lymph glands
Ellis had been diagnosed with cancer of the lymph glands in December 2007.
No singer had more success on Jamaican charts during the 1960s than the Trench Town-born Ellis whose first hit song was Muriel, which was done with Eddie Perkins.
Throughout the 1960s, Ellis recorded a series of ska hits for rival producers Arthur 'Duke' Reid and Clement Dodd. These included Dancecrasher, Girl I've Got a Date, I'm Just a Guy and I'm Still in Love.
He immigrated to England in the early 1970s where he remained active musically. He enjoyed a career resurgence in the 1990s when there was a rocksteady revival in Jamaica and Europe.
In 2003, dancehall superstar Sean Paul and singer Sasha had a minor hit in the United States with their cover of I'm Still in Love.
Ellis, who last performed here in June, is survived by wife Judith and over 20 children
- Alton Ellis on Wikipedia
- Alton Ellis on MySpace