May 17, 2021

Frankie Paul Jamaican Reggae singer, born 19 October 1965; died 18 May 2017. Live at UK Birmingham

The singer Frankie Paul, who died at aged 51 of complications related to kidney failure was born Paul Blake in Kingston, Jamaica. His father died when he was very young; his mother, Grace Kerr, a street trader, later married Lloyd Clarke, an electrician. Blind at birth – although an operation later gave him some sight and special glasses provided another marginal improvement – Paul attended a Salvation Army school for the blind in Kingston, where he learned to play the drums, piano and guitar. At school he sang for his hero, Stevie Wonder, when the American star made a visit in 1975. Wonder was impressed, and urged him to think about a career in music.

In 1980, at the age of 15, he made his first recording under the stage name Frankie Paul, with a single called African Princess...By 1983 hints of a new outlook had emerged when he was featured as an emerging talent on one side of a Channel One “clash” album that pitted him against the already well-established Sugar Minott, each artist offering some of their latest songs.

That record worked wonders for his reputation, and during the following two years he made big breakthroughs with the singles Worries in the Dance (1983), which dealt with the violent undercurrent of Jamaican dancehalls, Fire Deh a Mus Mus Tail (1984), centred on an old Jamaican proverb, and Pass the Tu-Sheng-Peng (1984), a celebration of ganja. All were hits in Jamaica and beyond, and remain in the pantheon of reggae classics. (Source: