Not that today is the day that Lucky PhillipDube was killed, no! Nor is it the day that he was born, he was born in August1964, which three months ago; but at least this coming Wednesday October 18 isthe date that became the red lettered day for reggae lovers.
Four years ago, the evening of October 18 in2007, Lucky Dube was shot dead in the Johannesburg suburb of Rosettenvilleshortly after dropping two of his seven children off at their uncle’s house.
Apparently the assailants were after Dube’sChrysler 300Che was driving when dropping his children. Police reports suggest he was shotdead by carjackers.
As the world commemorate the fourthanniversary after the iconic African Reggae King was killed, I try to give aspecial mention on a track called ‘Always and Forever’ done by Grampa Morgan inhis debut album “Two sides of My heartVol. One”
The feelingwould: Grampa Morgan? Who the heck is he?
Well, he wasborn Roy Morgan, as one of the legendary Denroy Morgan’s seventeen sons and wasaffectionately given the name “Grampa” on the day of his birth by an aunt whonoticed his uncanny resemblance to his grandfather.
Then Roy‘Grampa’ Morgan became Gramps a name that is said to have followed him throughouthis youth hood before it became his showbiz name.
He is a memberof the internationally renowned reggae group, Morgan Heritage; a band composedof five family members out of his 29 other siblings, some of whom have formeddifferent musical groups like LMS.
I am notqualified to write an account that is Morgan Heritage, which at the tender ageof nine, Gramps became part of. He recorded over ten albums with the band.
Together as Morgan Heritage they have soldmillions before going into recess but as their father Denroy Morgan presagedthat one day, each of the group members would travel own journey to achievesolo stardom. More than a decade later Gramps is now is just fulfilling it andalready he has bagged numerous awards.
As a specialized vocalist with his huskyand deep hiding voice, and a master on keyboard player as well as stage performer,Gramps released his first official single as a solo artist, “Wash the Tears”,under his own Dada Son Entertainment label which entered Italy’s Top 20 SinglesChart at number eight.
His debut first solo album, Two Sides of MyHeart – Vol. 1 in 2009 earned him three awards for Best New Entertainer, BestSong (“Wash the Tears”) and Best Crossover Song (“Therapy” featuring IndiaArie) at the 2010 International Reggae and World Music Awards.
Healso earned a nomination for Reggae Artist of the Year at the 2010 Soul TrainMusic Awards and went on to win Album of the Year at the 6th Annual Excellencein Music and Entertainment Awards. Gramps’ work and collaboration with reggaesuperstar Buju Banton on his album “Before the Dawn” won the awardfor Best Reggae Album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in 2011.
Gramps is currently recording his second studio album, which is presentlyuntitled and scheduled to be released sometime in 2011.
He plans to release Two Sides of My Heart -Volume 2 in 2012, which will be an R&B and country inspired album withcollaborations with Kenny Rodgers and others.
With such a record, Lucky Dube would nothave needed any other tribute from no lesser a Person than Gramps.
In the track “Always and Forever” Grampsstart by singing ‘Lucky Dube’ over andover before wondering:
“What could he have done so wrong? Did weeven know he was one of the JAH prophets? Listen to his great songs, oh Jah, Whata man we have lost so”He then sings that “We always will rememberyou now and forever for the works you have carried out and we will not forgetall of the things you did.”
He then declares in the song that “this isa sign to show the times have changed” and repeats that “they have changed”over and over again.
Gramps then pledges that “Now that you’reamongst the starts, We will make sure your work lives on, Crying tears willfall time to time… But memories of you, help us carry on sooo, We always willremember you now and forever for the words you have carried out and, We willnot forget all of the things you did this is a sign to show that times havechanged.”
The song says in the last stanza that “Somewill come, some will go but the works you’ve done will still live on. Just likethe prophets of old you were one, a chosen one some will come, some will go butthe works you’ve done will still live on just like the prophets of old surely.”
LuckyDube also amassed uncountable awards in his life time and performed before allkinds of people including Malawians. Gramps I think mourned him better!