Ska music pioneer Prince Buster has died, aged 78

Jamaican singer-songwriter-producer was a major influence on the UK's late-'70s ska revival

Jamaican music legend Prince Buster has died at the age of 78.

He passed away this morning (September 8) at a hospital in South Florida, the Jamaica Observer reports, having been ill for some time following a series of strokes. His death was confirmed by his son, Kareem Ali.

The singer, songwriter and producer – born Cecil Bustamente Campbell – was revered as a pioneer of Jamaican ska and rocksteady music all through the ’60s. After originally being released in 1964, his single ‘Al Capone’ became a hit in the UK three years later.

Prince Buster later became a major influence on the UK’s late-’70s ska revival. Madness‘s 1979 single ‘The Prince’ was written in tribute to him and during the same year, the Camden band took a cover of Prince Buster’s song ‘One Step Beyond’ into the UK Top Ten. The Specials also covered and sampled several of Prince Buster’s songs.

In 1998, Prince Buster notched up a second UK hit when his ’60s single ‘Whine And Grine’ was used in a Levi’s advert. Three years later, he was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican Government for his contribution to music. He performed in the UK as recently as 2007.

Rob da Bank is among those paying to tribute to Prince Buster on Twitter tonight, with the DJ calling him “an incredible man”.