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Ian Sweetness Sings the Crown Prince

Almost 25 years after his death, Dennis Brown is still regarded as the singer’s singer by reggae artists. The man dubbed the Crown Prince of Reggae would have turned 67 on February 1.

Ian Sweetness is one of the countless Jamaican acts inspired by Brown. His latest songs are covers of ‘Ain’t That Loving You’, ‘Love Has Found its Way’ and ‘If You Want my Loving’, three of the legendary vocalist’s biggest hits.

According to Sweetness, ‘D Brown’ was a unique performer who made singing look easy.

“He would take your song and do it better than how you sang it. He had great melodies for words, and he did it with passion and soul,” he said.

Ian Sweetness’ Dennis Brown covers are produced by Earl Messam for the Philadelphia-based Wildfire Records. He met his hero during the 1990s in New York where they did dub plates together.  Wildfire Records has been in recent months releasing songs by Sweetness, Roland Burrell (of ‘Johnny Dollar’) and Doniki, the roots singer who died in 2015.

Brown, whose prolific career started in the late 1960s, exploded during the 1970s with a flurry of hit songs including ‘Cassandra’, ‘Westbound Train’, ‘Money in My Pocket’, ‘Wolf and Leopard’, ‘How Could I Leave’, ‘Whip Them Jah’ and ‘Ghetto Girl’.

He died July 1, 1999, at age 42.

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