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Up Close with Audley Rollen

Almost two years after topping the South Florida Reggae Chart with ‘Close to You’, Audley Rollen has put new life into that song with the release of a music video. Filmed in the prime tourist areas of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, the visual features Rollen and Dawn Marie, his wife of 26 years.

Rollen, who has been in the music business for over 60 years, credits his wife for many of his ballads.  “My wife and I spend a lot of time together and yes she has been the inspiration to many of the love songs I’ve written, and I give thanks for that,” he said.

‘Close to You’ is from ‘I Need You’, Rollen’s album which came out in July 2022. It also produced sizable hits in the title track and ‘Never Knew Love till You’, all of which he wrote.

Although he covered Mel Carter’s ‘Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me’ (as ‘Hold Me, Thrill Me’) on ‘I Need You’, Rollen has avoided ‘doing over’ other artist’s songs since his early days in the business. “I prefer to be original and so I always think first to be creative, and that’s why I have not covered a lot of songs, it’s just not my thing,” he said.

An ordained minister of religion, the South Florida-based artist and his wife are pastors at Wisdom Sabbath Ministry in Plantation, South Florida.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was a member of The Hippy Boys, The Emotions and Youth Professionals along with future Wailers drum and bass team, Carlton Barrett and Aston “Family Man” Barrett, and bass player Robbie Shakespeare.

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