Musical Youth's Frederick Waite Jr. Died at Age 55

The history-making black group are saddened by the drummer's death as they announce the sad news on social media and confirm the musician passed away at the age of 55.

AceShowbiz - RIP Musical Youth drummer Frederick Waite Jr. The 1980s musician has passed away aged 55.

He was the mastermind behind classic hit "Pass the Dutchie", which recently featured on Netflix's popular series "Stranger Things".

"We are sad to announce the passing of Musical Youth's drummer Frederick Waite Jr.," the band were heartbroken as they announced the news on Thursday. (11.08.22). Frederick died in July in Birmingham.

They added in a statement on Facebook alongside a picture of Frederick in his youth, "Our thoughts go out to him and his family during this sad time. We have lost a musical legend, who inspired many young musicians over the last 40 years."

The reggae band was formed in the West Midlands in 1979 by the fathers of Frederick and Patrick Waite and fellow sibling members Kelvin and Michael Grant.

They hit the big-time when "Pass the Dutchie" was released in 1982 and sold five million copies, with the band making history when they became the first black group to have a music video played on MTV – beating Michael Jackson by several months.

Frederick's death comes after Patrick Waite died aged only 24 in 1993 from a hereditary heart condition.

Among the droves of fans paying tribute was band UB40. They said in a Facebook post on Thursday, "R.I.P JR. How sad to hear this news. Our thoughts go out to his family and Musical Youth. Big Love. UB40."

Musical Youth were also known for their hits "Youth of Today", "Never Gonna Give You Up", and a collaboration with Donna Summer on a track titled "Unconditional Love".

Their "Pass the Dutchie" hit was a take on "Pass the Kouchie" by Jamaican act The Mighty Diamonds - a reference to passing around a cannabis pipe.

The band was put together by Waite's father Frederick Waite Sr, who was in a reggae band. Frederick's brother Patrick played bass while Waite Sr sang until he decided they needed a younger frontman and the slot went to Dennis Seaton while brothers Kelvin and Michael Grant completed the line-up.

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