Wed | Jul 15, 2020

Children of late reggae legends salute their fathers

Published:Friday | June 15, 2018 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Pashon Minott and her father Sugar.
Pashon Minott and her father Sugar.
Marla Brown
The late Dennis Brown.
Prince Buster

Today is Father's Day, and while many are gearing up to treat their fathers to breakfast in bed, take him out for lunch or dinner or shower him with gifts, others are left with just memories because their fathers are no longer with them in the flesh.

Today, we salute some of the legendary fathers who contributed greatly to the development of Jamaican music. And who better to talk about what type of fathers they were than from their children?


Sugar Minott - My dad, my friend


Speaking with The Sunday Gleaner about her father, the late Sugar Minott, Pashon described her dad as a humble man who gave of himself equally to everyone. She said that although it has been eight years since her father passed, she still doesn't know how to cope on Father's Day, as she is reminded of the phenomenal job he did raising her and her siblings.

"I try not to go on social media too much because you see everyone putting up their fathers, and stuff like that is very painful. I miss him dearly. When he was alive and I was going through certain things, he would be the one I call first before anyone else even my mom. On Father's Day I just try to remember the good times because we had a lot of those," she said. "Daddy was like my friend. He was more of a friend than a father, and when I say that, I mean, he never beat us to discipline us, not once. He would always be the one to sit us down and reason with us to the point where he was the one we would run to when Mommy wanted to beat us, and he would always be the one to rescue us."

Recalling his initial reaction when she told him she wanted to get into music, Minott said her father always wanted to shelter his children. "When I told Daddy I wanted to go into music, I don't think he was very pleased. I was in university at the time, and he was showing me the struggles of being in music, especially as a woman. He didn't want anything to happen to me, because women go through a lot of stuff, and he knew that. So I think he was kinda protecting me," she said. "But when I kept pushing and he would see me go on stage and attack it, I think he was very proud."


Dennis Brown - A family man


Marla Brown, daughter of the crown prince of reggae, the late Dennis Brown, also had a mouthful to say about her father. Although the singer passed when Marla was only 12 years old, she remembers him as a humble family man. "I think for me, the time he was my dad was cut very short, but the time I did spend with him, I was always in his arms. Looking back at even home videos of us, I'm such a daddy's girl. He was a great man and a great father," she expressed. "My dad loved family time so we did a lot of things together. It was just a joy growing up with him. I don't recall ever being told off or being corrected, it was always just living in love. In all of my memories, we did everything together, and I think that's why I'm so strong on unity and love because it was embedded in me from I was young."


Prince Buster - My visionary father


Sultan Ali, son of the late Prince Buster, also described the type of father the legendary ska singer was. Describing Buster as a man who always stood up for what he believed in, Ali said the type of man he is today was influenced by the type of man his father was. "Prince Buster was a visionary, he was a man who grew up poor, but had a vision to create a music called ska, and he defied the odds. He was a man of integrity, a man of strength, and he taught me to be strong and stand up for what I believed in, even if I have to stand up alone," Ali recalled. He added, "When I look at my father's life and what he went through, he built my character. He taught me to believe in myself despite the odds. I'm standing right now on his shoulders. Physically, he's not here with us but spiritually he is, and he always will be."