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Michael Prophet, reggae singer – obituary

Michael Prophet Credit: C Brandon/ Redferns/Getty Images

Michael Prophet, who has died of cancer aged 60, was one of Jamaica’s most popular roots reggae singers and had several prominent hits during his 40-year career.

Prophet’s distinctive voice – he had a wide vocal range with an unusual “crying” tenor style – and the success of songs such as Gunman (1981) meant that his energetic live performances were in high demand on the international festival circuit. He was still singing live – and with gusto – in the last months of his life, giving a final show in September at the Mekudeshet Music Festival in Jerusalem.

He was born Michael George Haynes in Kingston, Jamaica, on March 3 1957, the only child of Caroline Smith, a housewife, and Lloyd Haynes, a painter and decorator who worked for the beverage company Desnoes & Geddes (Lloyd fathered 13 other children).

Educated at Greenwich Farm High School, Kingston, he lived nearby with his paternal grandmother...

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