Reggae performer and ‘The Tide Is High’ writer John Holt dies

The former member of The Paragons passed away on Sunday (October 19)

John Holt, veteran reggae performer and member of ska-reggae band The Paragons, has passed away.

The Jamaican singer died on Sunday (October 19) at a London hospital, his manager has confirmed to the Jamaica Observer. The cause of his death is not yet known.

The musician formed The Paragons in Kingston, Jamaica in the 1960s, leaving the group in 1970 to focus on his solo career. His single ‘Stick By Me’ was the biggest-selling Jamaican record of 1972.

Holt is perhaps best known for penning ‘The Tide Is High’, a song that later became a hit for Blondie and Atomic Kitten.

Members of the music industry have joined to pay respect to the singer this morning. British label Trojan Records – which specialises in reggae and ska – described Holt as a “huge talent and a true gentleman”.

Conflicting reports place Holt between 67 and 69 years old at the time of death.