Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Sep 3rd 2009 11:45AM by John D. Luerssen
Johnson started his career as the original keyboardist with the Roots Radix Band, which backed Gregory Isaacs and Bunny Wailer, among others, in the 1970s. Steely first teamed with drummer Cleveland "Clevie" Brown on the aforementioned 1983 Wailers' disc, and the pair went on to revolutionize the dancehall sound in the '80s by incorporating computers, helping to distinguish the reggae subgenre. Together, Steely and Clevie bolstered the careers of Billy Ocean, Shabba Ranks, Heavy D and the Boyz, Buju Banton, Foxy Brown, Supercat, Maxi Priest, Beenie Man, Dawn Penn, the Specials and even the Backstreet Boys.
"He helped shape Jamaican music for decades and pioneered the dance hall sound," EMI Music Publishing UK president Guy Moot said, speaking on Johnson's passing to Music Week. "Every young producer in looks up to him and he leaves a lasting legacy of great songs. An inspirational music man and good friend."