Prince Buster Dies

Prince Buster, 78, one of the founding figures of Jamaican ska music, died at his home in Miami, Fla., Sept. 8. 

Photo: Trojan Records via Twitter

Buster has been credited with inventing the sound that would eventually envelop the U.K. when, in 1960, he asked guitarist Jah Jerry to play the afterbeat versus the downbeat while in the studio. “Ska was born,” wrote the Guardian. Most of the singles from those sessions were hits in Jamaica and was the first Jamaican to have a Top 20 hit in Britain with 1965’s “Al Capone.” He also nurtured the sound that became known as rocksteady.

The band Madness not only named itself after Buster’s song “Madness is Gladness,” but the band’s big hits “The Prince” and “One Step Beyond” are covers of Buster songs. Buster was awarded the Order of Distinction in Jamaica in 2001.