Known as “The Cool Ruler,” Isaacs gained prominence in Jamaica in the 1970s while recording at Lee “Scratch” Perry‘s Black Ark Studio and releasing singles like “My Only Lover” and “Mr. Cop.” Recorded at Bob Marley‘s Tuff Gong studio, “Night Nurse” reached No. 32 in the UK in 1982 and led to Simply Red‘s 1997 cover of its title track. Following years of drug addiction, Isaacs’ final album, “Brand New Me,” was released in Dec. 2008.
“Gregory was well-loved by everyone, his fans and his family, and he worked really hard to make sure he delivered the music they loved and enjoyed,” his wife Linda said.
Isaacs had been reportedly travelling around Jamaica this year before returning to his London home last summer. The singer’s final performance was at England’s The Big Chill festival alongside Massive Attack, M.I.A. and Lily Allen last August.