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20 years Since the Death of Tenor Saw

Posted on 2nd September 2008 by Reggaelifestyle

Ring the alarm, Tenor Saw is coming. Although this month marks 20 years since his death, the legacy of Clive Bright, one of dancehall’s most influential and unique singers, lives on. Tenor Saw’s death was mysterious. In 1988, the 22-year-old’s decomposing body was found in bushes near a road in Houston, Texas. One version is that he was shot; another was that he was the victim of a hit-and-run driver. But his mentor, singer/producer Lincoln ‘Sugar’ Minott, said he really died of pneumonia. This, he believes, occurred after he got into an altercation with promoters about not being paid for a performance. He was allegedly beaten, left in bushes, exposed to the elements and died from pneumonia.

Tenor Saw

It was a great loss to dancehall music as Tenor Saw’s voice was unlike any placed on a ‘riddim’. “The voice was so powerful, something that come from the church, like a Pavarotti kinda thing,” is how Minott describes Saw’s sound which influenced other artistes of the 1980s,including Frankie Paul, Junior Reid, Nitty Gritty and Michael Palmer.

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